Concerted efforts a must to prevent smoking, use of tobacco products

Published : 26 May 2024 09:57 PM | Updated : 26 May 2024 09:57 PM

Concerted efforts of all the government, non-government and voluntary organizations concerned can be the crucial means of controlling smoking coupled with the use of tobacco products. 

There is an urgent need to fight against all sorts of illegal advertisements and publication of the multinational tobacco companies in line with enforcement of tobacco control law. Administrative officials and other stakeholders came up with the observation while addressing a divisional level anti-tobacco seminar in Rajshahi on Sunday.

Commissioner office of Rajshahi division organized the seminar at its conference hall supported by the National Tobacco Control Cell (NTTC) belonging to the Health Service Division under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Divisional Commissioner Dr Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir addressed the meeting as chief guest, while Additional Commissioner Tarafder Akter Jamil was in the chair.

Director of Local Government Division Parvej Raihan, NTTC Coordinator Muhammad Akteruzzaman, Additional Commissioner Kabir Uddin, Divisional Director of Health Services Dr Anwarul Kabir and Head of the Department of Medicine in Rajshahi Medical College Prof Dr Hassan Tarique also spoke.

Among others, Civil Surgeon Dr Abu Sayeed Faruque, Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Nasir Uddin Jubayer, Editor of Sonali Sangbad Liakat Ali, Editor of Daily Sonar Desh Akbarul Hassan Millat and President of Rajshahi Press Club Saidur Rahman  took part in the open discussion.

In his concept paper presentation, Tarafder Akter Jamil narrated various demerits of smoking and uses of other smokeless tobacco products.

He said imposing restrictions on smoking in public places and transports is very important for protecting many non-smokers from various non-communicable diseases caused by smoking.

Use of tobacco items causes many non-communicable diseases like cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory disorder.

Some tobacco companies are expanding their market through promotional activities in the name of corporate social responsibilities, which must be stopped, he added.

Divisional Commissioner Dr Humayun Kabir said the government has amended the law to make it more stringent because of growing tobacco use in the country. As per the law, the selling of cigarettes to those below 18 has been banned.

He said mobile courts should be conducted against all sorts of violations of the law, adding the district administrations will supplement Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's announcement of freeing the country from tobacco uses by 2040.

"The announcement comes as encouragement for field level administrative officials for combating the violation of the amended tobacco control law to protect public health from various non-contagious diseases caused by tobacco uses," Dr Kabir added.