Human Development Foundation (HDF) on Sunday said that the implementation of tobacco control law in Pakistan is so poor that it is ranked at #54 amongst 84 countries with the highest prevalence of tobacco smoking. It has now become integral to abolish the third tier and to follow the stipulated rules by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). HDF Founder Zahid Shafiq said that global health statistics have revealed that every year $1.436 trillion are spent to deal with the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) caused by smoking worldwide, out of which around 40 percent is to be paid by the developing countries like Pakistan. “We demand stronger tax reforms with the likes of sin-tax suggested by the health minister,” he said. Zahid Shafiq recalled that Pakistan became a signatory to the World Health Organisation (WHO) FCTC in 2005 under which it took a pledge to ensure smoke-free public places, reduce tobacco advertising and promotion and to raise tobacco taxation and pricing. The Prohibition of Smoking & Protection of Non-Smokers’ Health Ordinance of 2002 incorporated necessary Statutory Regulatory Orders to abide by the clauses of the WHO’s FCTC, although, the non-compliance of the law in the public places including in banks, universities and restaurants remains alarmingly high. Moreover, the cost of smoking in Pakistan associated with the outbreak of NCDs and other tobacco related diseases is reported to be around Rs 143.208 billion in the year 2017. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey results of 2015 are proven to be further alarming and indicate that the usability of tobacco products is Pakistan is very high with around 31.8 percent of men and 5.8 percent of women being addicted to cigarette and other tobacco products. According to FCTC, increasing taxes on tobacco products is one of the most effective ways of cutting down consumption; however, Pakistan has witnessed an unfortunate series of events in the form of resistance from the powerful tobacco industry which has always vehemently lobbied against the tobacco law introduction and implementation in the country. Published in Daily Times, October 15th 2018.