72% of women in Pakistan are smokers: PTB

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ISLAMABAD, JUL 23: The Pakistan Tobacco Board has recently revealed that the number of Pakistani women who smoke has surged to a shocking 72%.

This surge in women smokers has caused medical experts to raise serious concerns about the grave health implications of the habit, a survey shared by the tobacco board with a public accounts subcommittee in the federal capital said.

Increased smoking was a leading factor in increased anxiety and depression among women, health experts say, adding that the habit doubles the risk of stroke and severely impacts their reproductive health.

Experts further said the risk of stillborns and the likelihood of fatal lung disease in newborns increased by 20 times when women smoked, adding that the bone density of women who smoke decreases, increasing the risk of hip fracture.

Data suggested that there are more than 30 million smokers in Pakistan and more than 80 billion cigarettes are smoked annually.

Pakistan is one of those countries suffering a high death rate from smoking-related concerns, with 160,000 people dying yearly.

Cancer, breathing, and heart issues are counted among the biggest causes of death in the country.

An astounding 80% of lung diseases in women are due to smoking.

The tobacco board further shared that already taxes, levies and excises comprise 85% of the price of each box of cigarettes; however, the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) says this is insufficient.

It has suggested another 30% be added to the existing taxes.

Doing so will not only generate Rs27 billion in revenue but also discourage 700,000 people from smoking, the SPDC said.