The Toll of Tobacco in Pakistan | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Tobacco Consumption

  • 19.1% percent of adults (age 15+) currently use tobacco in any form (men 31.8%; women 5.8%).1
    • 12.4% of adults smoke tobacco
    • 7.7% use smokeless tobacco
    • 3% use waterpipes (hookah or shisha)
  • Among youth (ages 13-15):2
    • 10.7% use any tobacco product (boys 13.3%; girls 6.6%)
    • 7.2% smoke tobacco, and 5.3% use smokeless tobacco
    • Among youth who have ever smoked, nearly 40% first tried a cigarette before age 10

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke.3

  • 72.5% of adults (16.8 million people) who work indoors are exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace.1
  • 86% of adults who visited restaurants in 2014 (49.2 million people) were exposed to secondhand smoke, and 76.2% of adults who used public transport were exposed to secondhand smoke.1
  • 37.8% of youth (ages 13-15) are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places, while 21% of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.2

Health Consequences

Tobacco use is deadly. Smoking kills up to half of all lifetime users.4

  • Tobacco kills over 163,600 people each year in Pakistan. Almost 31,000 of these deaths are due to exposure to secondhand smoke.5
  • Tobacco causes about 16.0% of all male deaths and 4.9% of female deaths. Overall, 10.9% of all deaths are caused by tobacco.5
  • Tobacco causes 66.5% of all deaths from tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer, 53.2% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 21.9% of deaths from ischemic heart disease, 15.2% of deaths from diabetes mellitus, and 16.8% of deaths from stroke.5

Costs to Society

Tobacco exacts a high cost on society.

  • The economic cost of smoking in Pakistan is Rs 615.07 billion (US$3.85 billion), equal to 1.6% of Pakistan's GDP.6
    • In 2019, the economic cost of smoking was about five times greater than the revenue from the tobacco industry.
  • Money spent on tobacco reduces households' spending on food, health, education, housing, and household durables.
    • In Pakistan, tobacco-consuming households spend on average 2.7% of their monthly budget on tobacco.7
    • Poor households spend 3.0% of their budget on tobacco. This is more than they spend on education (1.8%).7

Tobacco Industry

International companies hold almost all of the cigarette market in Pakistan. In 2017, British American Tobacco led with 65.6% of the retail volume market share, and Philip Morris International followed with 30%. In Pakistan, 52 billion cigarettes were sold in 2017.8

FCTC Status

Pakistan ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 3, 2004. The treaty went into effect on February 27, 2005.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For a summary of measures on smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, and taxation and price, download the Pakistan Tobacco Control Policy Status fact sheet. For more information visit the Tobacco Control Laws website.

1Pakistan Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS): Fact Sheet. World Health Organization; 2014. Available from:
2 Pakistan Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS). World Health Organization; 2013. Available from:
3 World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2009.
4 World Health Organization. Tobacco: Key facts. Updated May 27, 2020.
5 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019. Seattle, WA: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington; 2021. Available from:
6 Nayab D, Nasir M, Memon JA, et al. The Economic Cost of Tobacco-Induced Diseases in Pakistan. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad. 2021. Available at:
7 Saleem W, Iqbal MA. The Crowding Out Effect of Tobacco Spending in Pakistan. Social Policy and Development Centre. March 2021. Available at:
8 Euromonitor International 2018.

Last updated Aug. 3, 2021