Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

News Desk

The Express Tribune

Published Date: Mar 9, 2019

Govt urged to devise multi-sectoral tobacco policy

Existing tobacco control laws and subordinate legislation in the form of Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) only place bans on specific things such as advertisements, restricting smoking spaces, taxation, pricing control and graphic health warnings (GHW). However, they do not address the multi-sectoral challenges of society, economy and industry.
In this regard, there is a need to develop a comprehensive and multi-sectoral tobacco control policy and strategies which could address challenges faced by society, economy and industry.
This was stated by experts during a roundtable meeting titled ‘Understanding Tobacco Control Regulations in Pakistan’. The roundtable was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Friday.
SDPI Senior Research Associate Waseem Iftekhar Janjua said that according to the World Tobacco Atlas, around 160,100 people are killed in Pakistan by tobacco products every year.
Despite the enormity of this alarming figure, over 24 million people continue to use tobacco products in the country, smoking over 85 billion cigarette sticks a year.
He added the main issue in Pakistan was that it has not defined what tobacco products are while no law exists which prohibits misleading tobacco product packaging and labelling including terms, descriptors, trademarks, or figurative or other signs.
Furthermore, there are no laws advising cessation while the penalties levied are not in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Janjua said that it was about time that Pakistan formulates a comprehensive policy which outlines actionable and time-bound measures to tackle the multi-sectoral challenges.
Saadiya Razzaq, a research manager on Population and Development at the Population Council, pointed out that the word ‘tobacco’ does not crop up in any of our existing laws or SROs pertaining to tobacco control. This, she said, shows the commitment of the country towards its control.
She added that controlling the trade and consumption of tobacco is not just the responsibility of the government, but of the society as a whole.
Razzaq highlighted the need for an aggressive media campaign which utilizes all available platforms to raise awareness amongst the general public.
SDPI’s Research Associate Wasif Naqvi highlighted the role of the Punjab Food Authority in countering the menace of tobacco products.
“Pakistan is lagging behind in the region in implementing graphic health warnings on tobacco products, whereas, India and Nepal have successfully implemented the 85 per cent graphic warning covers on the tobacco products,” he said.
He alleged that the main reason existing laws and regulations were not being implemented was due to financial interest and the lack of a political will.
“Lack of implementation of existing laws, promulgation of robust tobacco control laws, excessive tobacco industry influence resulting into massive tax evasion, lack of tobacco control knowledge and capacity among the legislators are the major challenges of tobacco control regulations in Pakistan,” he added.
Akhtar Syed, from The Network for Consumer Protection, said that on the one hand, the health ministry is working on tobacco control while the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) is working on tobacco promotion on the other.
He added that there is a need to empower the health ministry in taking independent decisions apart from reactivating tobacco control committees at the district levels which need to be expanded at tehsil levels.
He urged the government to calculate the health cost of tobacco consumption which can be utilized for taking affirmative actions for tobacco control in Pakistan.