Designing an effective taxation strategy for the tobacco industry in Pakistan is imperative to ensure fair contributions, address market distortions, and maximize revenue for the national exchequer… The tobacco industry in Pakistan is characterized by significant under-taxation, leading to adverse consequences for the economy, society, and public health. It enjoys comparatively low taxation rates, leading to several detrimental effects on the nation. Firstly, under-taxation hampers revenue generation for the national exchequer, resulting in limited funds for critical sectors such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure development. Insufficient resources impede socioeconomic progress and inhibit the government’s ability to address pressing public needs. Economically, under-taxation distorts market dynamics, as major tobacco industry players operate as a monopolistic cartel. This lack of competition undermines fair business practices and inhibits market efficiency. Moreover, the under-taxation of tobacco products contributes to an unfair distribution of the tax burden, as other sectors and individuals bear the brunt of higher taxes to compensate for the industry’s inadequate contributions. Socially, the under-taxation of the tobacco industry perpetuates socioeconomic disparities by reducing available funds for poverty alleviation programs and social welfare initiatives. This exacerbates income inequality and restricts opportunities for social mobility, hindering the overall development of society. India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have implemented more rigorous taxation policies, resulting in higher tax revenues and better public health outcomes. Health-wise, under-taxation encourages affordability and accessibility of tobacco products, leading to increased consumption rates. This directly contributes to a range of tobacco-related diseases, including cardiovascular illnesses, respiratory disorders, and various types of almost incurable cancers. The resulting health burden places; additional strain on the healthcare system, leading to increased costs and reduced productivity. In a comparative analysis with neighboring countries, Pakistan’s tobacco industry stands out for its considerably lower tax rates. For instance, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have implemented more rigorous taxation policies, resulting in higher tax revenues and better public health outcomes. These countries have recognized the importance of robust taxation measures to discourage tobacco consumption, reduce healthcare costs, and foster socioeconomic progress. By contrast, Pakistan’s under-taxation policies perpetuate a cycle of economic, social, and health damage. A present, Pakistan collects a modest amount of revenue from the tobacco industry, estimated at approximately PKR 114 billion (equivalent to USD 725 million) annually. However, due to under-taxation, this amount falls significantly short of its potential. If the tobacco industry is accurately and efficiently taxed, projections suggest that the revenue could potentially increase by at least 50%, yielding an additional PKR 57 billion (equivalent to USD 362 million) annually. This additional revenue would provide much-needed resources for critical sectors, driving economic growth and improving societal well-being. Designing an effective taxation strategy for the tobacco industry in Pakistan is imperative to ensure fair contributions, address market distortions, and maximize revenue for the national exchequer. A gradual increase in excise taxes, differential taxation based on product types, minimum price policies, and strengthened monitoring mechanisms are key components of such a strategy. By implementing this approach, Pakistan can not only generate substantial government revenue but also secure significant macroeconomic benefits, including improved public health, economic efficiency, and enhanced social welfare. The author is a freelance columnist.