CTC-Pak Membership Form
CTC-Pak Membership Form
Pakistan raises the
Graphic Health Warnings
Cigarette packs are to carry the new GHW by March 30, 2015.
Cigarette packs to cover 85 percent pictorial warning:
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 21:26
ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and
Coordination, Saira Afzal Tarar on Wednesday announced that new
pictorial warning will cover 85 percent of cigarette packs on both
sides in the country.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the tobacco
companies would start implementing this decision from March 30 and
efforts will be made to apply this decision on all cigarettes stock
by May 30 in the country.
She said that the government has also decided to further enhance
taxes on tobacco items, adding, a concerned committee has been
constituted in this regard with participation from WHO and Federal
Board of Revenue aimed at stopping tobacco use.
She said that the ministry will announce national health policy
within two months. She also announced that the government will soon
announce country's first drugs policy.
She said that Pakistan will be the third country in the world
besides Thailand and India to have enhanced pictorial health warning
to 85 percent. She added this new large size of pictorial health
warning on cigarette packs will encourage smokers to quit smoking.
She said that it is a major stride forward in curbing tobacco use as
the size of the warning has also been more than doubled from 40
percent to 85 percent.
She said that the matter of introducing the new enhanced pictorial
warning was initiated in 2011. The ministry has started process of
consultation with the provinces in 2013 to revive the tobacco
control programme and strengthen it.
She said that Pakistan has fulfilled it obligation under Article 11
of the Frame Work convention of Tobacco control and become a world
leader for the other countries to follow.
The minister said that tobacco use is a major cause of deaths
world-wide and in Pakistan. The world has seen 100 million deaths in
the 20th century from tobacco related causes. In Pakistan 100,000
people lose their lives every year from tobacco related diseases,
Pictorial warning on tobacco packs is the most effective means of
communication with tobacco users as according to research, a smoker
looks at this picture at an average of 7,000 times in a year.
Moreover, those who intend to initiate smoking are discouraged by
the warning where as it encourages those to intend to quit smoking.
Under the new measure, cigarette manufactured in the country, sale
in the country and imported into the country will be required to
have the new pictorial warning on their packs mandatory by March 30,
The minister added that any manufactures, importer, distributer or
retailer who will violate the new law will be dealt according to
law. She expressed the hope that all shareholders including the
provincial governments will ensure full implementation of the new
Bangladesh worse than Pakistan in tobacco control
Nurul Islam Hasib,
Published: 2015-02-11 23:46:34.0
Pakistan has set an example for Bangladesh and many other countries
to follow in public health with an announcement that it will
implement a new pictorial health warning on tobacco packs next
month. Bangladesh slips in tobacco-control rating
Authorities in Bangladesh have been struggling for the past 22
months to introduce a similar warning.
Pakistan’s health ministry on Wednesday said their warning would
cover 85 percent of the cigarette pack on both sides from the
current 40 percent.
The measure will make Pakistan only the third country in the world
after Nepal and India to have enhanced pictorial health warning to
“If Pakistan can, why can’t we?” asked Taifur Rahman, Bangladesh
coordinator of the US-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
He was one of the members of the committee that drafted the tobacco
control law and its implementation rules.
The amended law was passed nearly two years ago in April 2013 with a
provision that tobacco companies must print pictorial health warning
covering 50 percent on both sides.
Pictorial warning on tobacco packs is regarded as the most effective
means of communication with tobacco users.
Researches show a smoker looks at this picture at an average of
7,000 times a year.
Moreover, those who intend to start smoking are discouraged by the
warning while it encourages many to quit the habit.
But Bangladesh, a country where more than 45 percent people smoke,
could not put the provision into practice as the rules needed for
implementation have not been finalised yet.
The law ministry took months to complete their vetting and recently
sent those back to the health ministry which is known by the
anti-tobacco campaigners as “a heaven” for tobacco industry
Tobacco multinationals dared to meet Health and Family Welfare
Minister Mohammed Nasim even as the WHO’s convention, which
Bangladesh has signed and ratified, does not allow such meeting.
The former health secretary MM Neazuddin also held meeting with
them.The minister later in August last year at a press briefing said
being a public representative, he can meet anyone. “But I’ll act
according to law”.
Lately, tobacco companies have appointed packaging firms to convince
the health ministry that to print such pictorial warning, they need
sophisticated machines to import.
After meeting the tobacco lobbyists and packaging companies, the
health ministry set a 10-month deadline from the day of issuing the
rules to implement the pictorial health warning.
It, however, still remained unclear when the rules will be finalised.
“We are in the worst situation,” CTFK Coordinator Rahman told
“Pakistan has showed how quickly pictorial health warning can be
implemented. It is frustrating that we are still struggling,” he
“In the initial draft we kept six months for implementation of the
pictorial health warning from the day of issuing rules. But it was
changed after the meeting with the packaging companies.”
“They presented a vague excuse that they don’t have such machines
that print pictorial warning,” Rahman said.
“It is like any other printing work and everywhere in the world
tobacco industries made the same excuse when a country talked about
pictorial health warning. Finally they (industry) had to concede,”
Tobacco use is a major cause of deaths in Bangladesh and other parts
of the world.
WHO estimates 57,000 people die of tobacco-related illnesses each
year in Bangladesh, while more than 300,000 suffer disabilities
Introducing pictorial health warning is also an obligation for a
country like Bangladesh that singed WHO convention, FCTC, on tobacco
® 2007 Coalition for Tobacco Control in Pakistan, All Rights