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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Tracking progress of tobacco control in Pakistan against the MPOWER package of interventions: Challenges and opportunities

1 Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, England, UK
2 Warwick Law School, University of Warwick, Coventry, England, UK

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Haleema Masud
Farm-House, Gibbet Hill Campus, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, England
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_42_19

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MPOWER is an evidence-based package of the six most effective demand reduction interventions to reduce tobacco use. Global evidence shows that introduction of this package has accelerated and strengthened tobacco control worldwide with over 5 billion people living in 136 countries covered by at least one of these key interventions. This paper comments on how tobacco control laws in a low and middle income country, Pakistan, are meeting the MPOWER package provisions and what the challenges and opportunities for tobacco control are in the country. Pakistan is home to over 24 million tobacco users consuming a variety of tobacco products including 10 million smokeless tobacco users. Pakistan has introduced several laws to meet its international commitments under the framework convention against tobacco control and MPOWER package. However, gaps in existing policies, poor law enforcement, and a conflicting political economy of tobacco in the country pose major challenges for effective tobacco control. The changing political environment with renowned public health activists in current government, an active and independent judiciary, increasing use of social media, and a dynamic civil society offer opportunities to strengthen its efforts for effective policy actions against tobacco use.

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