ISLAMABAD: Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) on Sunday called the Heated Tobacco Products (Heat-not-burn, of Warning) of Warning) Rules 2022 is an essential move in the right direction. It also demanded that tobacco harm reduction be a part of Pakistan’s efforts to control tobacco.
“Tobacco harm reduction can help Pakistan overcome the epidemic of smoking, which at present, seems to be getting out of control,” said Arshad Ali Syed, the head of ARI.
The SRO on HTPs released through the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, defines HTPs to be “any form of tobacco product that is heated without combustion, allowing users to inhale nicotine.”
According to the most recent estimates, the total number of tobacco users has risen to 31 million in Pakistan.
This year, the demand for tobacco has been estimated to be 85.8 million kilograms. This is compared to the previous year’s 53.5 million kilograms last year – a growth of 60 percent.
Arshad said that there is a need to go further than the printed cautions for HTPs.
He also said that the regulation of HTPs must be prudent and risk-adjusted.
“The focus of regulations should be to help adult smokers to quit or switch to less harmful alternatives.” He added that the essential thing to remember is that nicotine is addictive but doesn’t cause cancer. “Many countries, including the UK, are exploring the potential of THR for a smoke-free future.”
It is crucial to remember that ARI offers research-based solutions for social issues such as health, governance, education, and the arts and culture in Pakistan.