Global Epidemic



  • In Pakistan, 19 percent of adults (age 18+) smoke tobacco.
  • Almost one-third (32 percent of men and 6 percent of women smoke.
  • Among youth (age 13-15) in Islamabad, 1 percent smoke cigarettes (boys 2 percent; girls 0.6 percent) and 9.5 percent use tobacco products other than cigarettes (boys 11 percent; girls 7 percent).
  • Common forms of tobacco used include cigarettes, hookah and smokeless products such as paan, ghutka and naswar.

Health Consequences

  • Each year, approximately 110,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases in Pakistan.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 34 percent report being exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 27 percent report exposure at home.

Tobacco Industry

Pakistan Tobacco Co Ltd, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, held 51 percent of the cigarette market in 2008 and Lakson Tobacco Co Ltd, fully owned by Philip Morris International, held about 40 percent of the market. In Pakistan, more than 76 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008.

FCTC Status

Pakistan ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 3, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free environments: Smoking is banned in indoor offices, restaurants, health-care and educational facilities and on public transportation in Pakistan. Enforcement on the ban on smoking is lax.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Pakistan's ban on tobacco advertising and promotion is not comprehensive. Print advertising is prohibited, except for advertisements less than one square inch within publications not intended for youth. TV and radio advertising is permitted between 3:00am-4:00am only. Most other forms of advertising and promotion are allowed. Although financial or other sponsorship by the tobacco industry is not prohibited, publicity of the sponsorship of events is prohibited.

Warning labels: Pakistan implemented pictorial warnings on cigarette packs on May 31, 2010. The new warnings cover 40% of both the front and back of cigarette packs. 30% of the warning is pictorial and 10% text.

Tobacco taxes: A variety of tobacco products are used in Pakistan. Tax on tobacco products is high in comparison with other countries in the region but tax rates have remained steady in recent years and remain under internationally recommended levels. The vast majority (80%) of cigarettes are priced at the low end of the market.

Updated: August 2013