ICTA destroy over 500,000 counterfeit cigarettes, 600 hookahs

ISLAMABAD: During a ceremony in connection with World No Tobacco Day, the Excise and Taxation Department, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) destroyed over 5,00,000 illicit cigarettes and 600 hookahs and sheesha.

Irfan Nawaz Memon, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Bilal Ahmed, Director Excise and Taxation, Shehryar Arif, Additional Deputy Commissioner (East)  and officers of Islamabad Capital Territory administration and Ministry of National Health Services Regulation were present during the ceremony.

The DC Islamabad pledged to make the federal capital a smoke-free city in a press conference. He said that 537 public spaces in Islamabad, including hotels, highrise buildings, and parks, had been designated as smoke-free zones.

He stated that an aggressive campaign is underway to fully enforce the Tobacco Vendor Act, which requires sellers to obtain a licence and adhere to a number of criteria, including avoiding selling tobacco products to minors or near educational institutions. He said that the civil administration is enforcing a restriction on selling cigarettes within a 500-meter radius of schools.

Similarly, according to DC, accords were signed with 12 universities operating in the federal capital to reduce smoking among students.

During the last four years, about 7.4 million fines have been imposed for various infractions of the Tobacco Vendors Act, according to Memon.

He praised Director Excise’s work in enacting comprehensive measures to combat the unlawful sale of cigarettes, as well as raising public awareness about the dangers of tobacco use.

Over 987 permits were provided to merchants to oversee, regulate, and prohibit the selling of illicit cigarettes, according to Bilal Azam.

Apart from that, he said excise squads raided marketplaces, businesses, and other locations on a regular basis to seize sheesha, hookah, and other prohibited things.

To combat the practice of selling tobacco to minors under the age of 18, the capital has implemented an online registration system for tobacco dealers.

“We want to protect our youngsters from tobacco, and the registration will help us keep track of who is selling it to them,” he said.

He added that the World Health Organization had praised the Islamabad government’s anti-tobacco efforts.


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