Pakistanis are rapidly on their way to cancerous deaths with PKR 250 billion burnt to ashes in the form of 64.48 billion cigarettes in the FY 2014, as reported by State Bank.
The cigarette manufacturers and suppliers have somehow managed to keep the demand of cigarettes intact in spite of the rising prices of the cigarettes. The cheapest cigarette available in Pakistan is priced at PKR 2.5 per cigarette and the most expensive local one by Gold Leaf is priced at PKR 5 per cigarette. Imported versions of cigarettes sell for around PKR 150+ per pack of 20 cigarettes.
According to the latest report by the State Bank, almost 177 million cigarettes were consumed in Pakistan daily in the FY2014. These numbers reflect only the recorded sales figures from the industry and not the ones that are either smuggled or are unbranded. Cigarette dealers claimed that cigarettes are also exported from Pakistan due to the better taste of the local tobacco.
The shockingly high figures of cigarette consumption are in line with the equally high cancer death rate in Pakistan. Reports state that 90% of reported lung cancer cases in Pakistan are due to cigarette and tobacco smoking and many more succumb to death due to other related diseases including heart diseases and hypertension.
The figures in the latest report clearly show that the government and the health agencies have failed to implement Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance 2002.