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Curbing smoking: Govt seeks support of religious scholars

The government has sought assistance from religious scholars in view of growing trend of smoking among people of the country.

To create awareness among masses, the government has asked religious scholars to include the topic of disadvantages of cigarette smoking in their Friday sermons.

The Ministry of National Health wrote a letter to the concerned authorities, asking them to play their part in curbing smoking, meanwhile requesting scholars to discourage the use of tobacco in the sermons of Jumma-tul-Wida.

The letter noted that 50,00,000 people expire annually owing to smoking. Whereas, in Pakistan 274 people die on daily basis.

A day earlier, the federal government also approved imposition of Health Tax on cigarettes and beverages in the budget for fiscal year 2019-20.

It consented a tax of Rs 10 on a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Moreover, the rate of excise duty on cigarettes is also being increased.

According to sources, the cabinet after discussing the health hazards posed by smoking, decided to impose the tax on cigarettes and the amount will be spent in the health sector.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister for National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza in a statement said that the prime minister’s support for this tax express his resolve to improve health sector despite the economic crisis.

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