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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.

Recorder Report

Business Recorder

Published Date: Feb 1, 2021

Smoking cessation: NGOs start providing innovative solutions

ISLAMABAD: Two non-governmental organizations have started providing innovative solutions for smoking cessation in Pakistan.

According to the experts, Pakistan has witnessed tobacco harm reduction in the form of e-cigarettes users in the last five years and most of them are 18-35 years, who are urbanites, educated, and well-off.

Currently, there are two non-governmental organizations-ARI and PANTHR which are providing innovative solutions in this regard. The PANTHR is focusing on cessation from the perspective of smokers but not backing any particular smoking cessation mechanism. It strongly believes that all their work should be based on research.

While, ARI concentrates on helping smokers make informed decisions on giving up combustible smoking. As an alliance, PANTHR backs all options for backing cessation – whether it is counselling, NRT or vaping.

The organization is backing vaping which is 95 percent safer than combustible smoking and use for harm reduction only for the adult smokers who are unable to give up nicotine.

They said that Pakistan was placed among the top ten raw tobacco producers in the world – ranked 9th in 2016.

Despite being one of the largest tobacco growing countries, however, tobacco is not a major crop in Pakistan. It accounts for only 0.42 percent of the total value of agricultural produce, 0.25 percent the total area under cultivation and only 0.03 percent of agricultural employment.

Cigarette excise taxes in Pakistan account for just over half of the price paid by users. This is below the level in countries that have taken a comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco use, where excise taxes account for 70 percent or more of the retail price.

The experts referred to a study conducted by Oxford Medicine Online* which suggested that Nicotine creates dependence, which keeps people smoking. The smoke contains thousands of toxic agents, many of which are formed in reactions during combustion. If smokers can find satisfactory alternatives to cigarettes that do not involve combustion but do provide nicotine, they would avoid almost all of the disease risk.

A policy that does not consider the voice of key stakeholders is likely to result in a less than successful outcome. Smokers left out in the dark, without guidance regarding cessation options is not going to reduce the number of people hooked to tobacco smoking in Pakistan. Not to mention the tobacco control debate in Pakistan is often quite stagnant, with anyone ever hardly mentioning smoking cessation. This leads to a rather futile debate, where merely increasing taxes is deemed as the Swiss army knife for tobacco control, without considering the motivations of the average smoker and targeting the very mindset which leads to smoking, experts said.

They stated that the smoking cessation is a desirable health outcome and nicotine replacement products are a means of achieving cessation through tobacco harm reduction. E-cigarettes are sophisticated nicotine replacement products. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a medically approved way to take nicotine by means other than tobacco.

Tobacco use continues to grow in Pakistan due to lack of awareness about its dangers, low prices, aggressive tobacco industry marketing efforts and steady population growth. The daily cigarette consumption is average 13.7 million or annual consumption of cigarette is around 86.7 billion according of Oxford Economics, Asia illicit tobacco Indicator quoted by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) report.