Editorial

Making Bangladesh tobacco-free

Amend the existing smoking and tobacco control law


Bangladeshpost
Published : 30 Jul 2022 08:53 PM

Over the past few years, the incumbent government has taken a number of initiatives to curb tobacco consumption. Nevertheless, Bangladesh is still one of the top tobacco consuming countries around the world. Reportedly, Bangladesh incurs an economic loss of Taka 30,000 crore per year in addressing tobacco-related diseases, against its revenue collection of Taka 22,000 crore from tobacco companies, according to a 2018 survey of Bangladesh Cancer Society.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier announced her government's plans to make the country tobacco-free by 2040. In this regard, strategic steps should be taken to limit tobacco production and consumption. Also, prices of tobacco products should be increased through implementing effective tobacco tax measures.

While the economic activities generated from the production and consumption of tobacco produces huge tax revenues as well as employment opportunities in the tobacco industry, tobacco smoking poses enormous health- and non-health-related threats to the affected individuals, employers, and the society at large. 


Tobacco smoking is the cause of 

many avoidable diseases and 

premature deaths in Bangladesh


Tobacco smoking is the cause of many avoidable diseases and premature deaths in Bangladesh. Reportedly, one lakh sixty-one thousand people die in the country every year due to tobacco use and hundreds of thousands of people become 

paralyzed. 

Considering the economic loss and health burden caused from tobacco use, the government should enact a harsher anti-tobacco law to check its use in the country aiming to protect public health 

Experts have long been crying hoarse to impose more taxes on the tobacco producing companies to save lives as well as collect more revenue. It is apprehended that if the existing taxes are revised and imposed properly, the government could earn an additional Tk 10,000 crore in revenue from the sector It needs no emphasising that increase in tobacco taxes will be the most effective means of reducing the consumption of tobacco. 

If its price goes out of people’s purchasing capacity, the consumption will gradually reduce. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to impose more taxes on the tobacco producing companies.