Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) regulation in Pakistan: A case study of tobacco industry’s footprints in the policy formulation
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Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Waseem Iftikhar Janjua   

Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A69
The tobacco industry (TI) seeks to undermine the public health ministry/department’s leadership role in tobacco control by engaging in lobbying activities, either defeating or diluting policies, and by its presence on the policymaking table. TI (PMI) has also been pushing for the promotion and sale of Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs). Besides, significant, and growing evidence suggests that TI fiercely resists tobacco control measures, causing delays in implementation, especially in Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs). One of the top recommendations of the WHO was to outright ban electronic nicotine products, ensuring the regulation of HTPs as any other tobacco product. Unregulated electronic tobacco devices and nicotine pouches permeated the Pakistani market in 2019 and rapidly spread across the country. In December 2022, the Ministry of Health issued a Statutory Regulatory Ordinance SRO 2304(I)/2022, also called “HTPs (Heat-not-burn, Printing of Warning) Rules, 2022”. An exclusion of tobacco control stakeholders, and civil society organizations from the preparation/promulgation processes raised concerns regarding the intent and efficacy of this SRO. Foregoing in view, this research critically examines this SRO and finds evidence of TII in promulgation discourse. This analysis further signposts the text-book tactics adopted by TI to dilute the regulatory intensity of this regulation, leaving gaps in taxation, and warnings, besides other MPOWER measures.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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