The behavior of tobacco companies in Pakistan can prove that as for as there exists a corporate greed we can’t move ahead to achieve a healthy society.
Recently the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Health had instructed to put a ban on the open sale of cigarettes in the country after a meeting on December 7. After this ministry of national health had started counseling with the ministry of law and other government departments to issue the relevant orders.
Earlier the city district government of the Lahore had also announced to spread awareness against the laws that already prevent advertisement of cigarettes.
According to media reports, influential people from tobacco sector have become active to stop issuance of such orders.
Tobacco traders have contacted the Federal Minister Saira Afzal Tarar and other officials to stop any such legislation that may hinder the business. The traders are of the opinion that ban on the open sale of cigarettes would naturally affect the economy and revenue of these companies.
There is no doubt that there is a considerable number of Pakistani population that is willing to consume cigarettes even without developing temptation from any advertisement, but still, marketing tactics have to do a lot in influencing the consumption pattern of a smoker. Corporate greed of the tobacco companies can’t stop them to advertise for the sale of the cigarettes.
In Pakistan almost more than 100,000 people die every year from lung cancer, in 90 percent cases, the victim suffers this disease because of smoking. Approximately 47% adult men in Pakistan smoke. To make sure that chronic diseases like lung cancer don’t get an appreciation keeping a check and balance on the sale of tobacco products is necessary.
If modern day corporates believe that they care for the consumers, society and ensure implementation of corporate social responsibility practices then, first of all, they would have to take into account their offerings and marketing patterns. How a corporate can claim that it is doing any good to the society by selling the important stuff that eases the death of an individual.