Tobacco industry trying to get latest regulation reversed

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ISLAMABAD: The tobacco industry is actively trying to get reversed the Ministry of National Health Services’ (NHS) decision to have pictorial warnings cover 85 percent of cigarette packets from May 31. Tobacco growers and sellers have been sending delegations and writing letters to the ministry. In their letters, they claim that the move to introduce new pictorial warnings would destroy their business and negatively impact the country’s economy. The NHS Minister said the decision has been made after consultations with the ministry of law and permission from provincial governments, so it will be implemented.

On February 11, the NHS Ministry announced its decision to increase the size of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets from covering 40 percent of a packet to 85 percent from May 31, 2015. It was announced that the decision would apply to imported cigarettes as well.