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Thousands of students take oath for tobacco-free Bangladesh

Published : 31 May 2022 11:41 PM | Updated : 01 Jun 2022 02:04 PM

Thousands of students have taken oath to achieve tobacco-free Bangladesh. They also demanded to ensure 100 percent tobacco free environment by banning restaurant smoking zones.

The oath taking ceremony was held at the Bangladesh Shishu Academy auditorium on Tuesday at a discussion titled, 'Tobacco: A Threat to the Environment' organized by the Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing. 

Through the oath, students pledge to ensure a tobacco-free environment and keep themselves free from the use of all kinds of tobacco products, as well as to discourage others from using tobacco products. Students as well as teachers and guests also took this oath.

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nesa Indira was present as the chief guest at the discussion meeting which was held in the presence of thousands of students from different schools, colleges, girl guides and scouts.

State Minister Fazilatun Nesa Indira said, "In our country, women consume more smokeless tobacco products than men. Not only that, the rate of smoking is also increasing among young women. Our women and children are being victimized  secondhand smoking in various public places and public transport, such as buses, launches and trains, homes and restaurants. The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs is raising awareness against tobacco through various trainings on tobacco control.

Special Guest academician and fiction writer Prof. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said, 'There is nothing good in smoking. It is very painful thing. So you should never smoke or use any other tobacco products. The participation of students in the Tobacco-Free Bangladesh Movement is inspiring me. I think it will be possible to make Bangladesh tobacco free with this.'

World Health Organization (WHO) Bangladesh representative Dr Bardan Jung Rana talked about the impact of tobacco in environment and lauded the initiative of Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Forum and President of the discussion Professor Md. Habibe Millat said, “There is no alternative to implementing a tobacco-free Bangladesh to build a healthy generation. Controlling tobacco use is important because our children are exposed to secondhand smoke without smoking. Children and women in particular are suffering due to the presence of smoking zones in public places, public transport and restaurants.'

Along with the speakers, Vice-Chancellor of National University Professor Md Mashiur Rahman and representatives from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Mostafizur Rahman spoke. 

The program was conducted by Rafiqul Islam, Director, Shastho Shurokkha Foundation. Officials from various ministries, representatives of anti-tobacco organizations, teachers from various educational institutions, professors, representatives of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Shastho Shurokkha Foundation took part.

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