COMPLIANCE OF ANTI-SMOKING REGULATIONS BY CIGARETTE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN
AbstractBackground: The hazards of cigarette smoking and its increasing consumption are well knowndespite the ongoing tussle between the tobacco industry and global governments. To curb the menaceof smoking, anti-smoking laws have been enforced from time to time by various governments. In2003, Ministry of Health (MoH) Government of Pakistan has imposed certain regulations oncigarette manufacturing industry. The aim of this study was to highlight the compliance of theindustry with these regulations. Methods: A cross-sectional study of major cigarette selling shopswas conducted in Abbottabad. It was aimed at determining the availability of total cigarette brandsand their compliance with the regulations and also to find out attributes of cigarette customers.Results: A total of 39 varieties of 18 cigarette brands are available in Abbottabad city, out of which71.8% are imported varieties. A total of 38.4% varieties have displayed health warnings (28.2%pictorial health warning, 10.2% have written health warning. Majority of cigarette customers arebetween 20–40 years of age, while 5.6% customers include youngsters between 10–20 years of age.Female customers, accounting for 8% of total cigarette customers, buy only those brands which havenot displayed the health warning. Conclusions: Observed compliance with governmental regulationfor displaying health warning is 39% which is far less than desired. Sale of cigarette to children isalso practiced. Ministry of Health (MoH) should assure the display of these warnings on all thebrands so that smokers must be fully aware about the risk involved in smokingKeywords: Cigarette smoking; anti-smoking regulations; protection of non-smoker health.
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