Fake cigarette manufacturing factory in Rawalpindi

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Fake cigarette manufacturing factory in Rawalpindi

ISLAMABAD, JAN 26 (DNA) — The recent discovery of a fake cigarette manufacturing factory in the Jhangi Syedan area of Rawalpindi has raised significant concerns regarding the illicit activities of the tobacco industry.

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) addressed the broader implications of this disturbing revelation. Malik Imran Ahmed, Country head of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), stated that the existence of such clandestine operations underscored the insidious tactics employed by the tobacco industry to evade regulations and profit at the expense of public health and economic stability.

The production and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes represented a tactic by the tobacco industry to confuse the government and compel them to lower taxation on tobacco products. Whether taxation was lowered or not, the industry benefited, leaving the people of Pakistan at a loss, said in a Press Release issued here on Friday.

Malik Imran emphasized the detrimental impact of counterfeit tobacco products on public health and the economy. He stressed the urgent need for heightened vigilance and enforcement measures to thwart the tobacco industry’s deceptive practices and protect the well-being of communities across Pakistan.

Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, Program Manager at SPARC, condemned the tobacco industry for its relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of public health. He added that the discovery of the fake cigarette manufacturing facility served as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive regulatory measures and enforcement mechanisms to curb illicit activities within the tobacco industry.

Dr. Dogar emphasized that this incident should not serve as an excuse to advocate for lowering tobacco taxation. Increased tobacco taxation was necessary for Pakistan, as highlighted by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

It was the government’s duty to ensure that tax revenue was collected from the tobacco industry and that they were not granted any relaxation under the guise of illicit trade. — DNA