Tobacco use kills over 1.5 lakh people a year

Devise measures to limit tobacco production and consumption

Published : 06 Feb 2022 07:50 PM

Our younger generation in recent times has been indulging so much in tobacco and drugs that they are already having worrisome diseases at the early stage of their life. According to a report published in this daily on Sunday, one lakh sixty-one thousand people die in the country every year due to tobacco use and hundreds of thousands of people become paralyzed.

The price of the cheapest cigarettes in neighbouring India is more than double that of the cheapest cigarette in Bangladesh. Cigarettes are getting cheaper in the country due to lack of effective taxation.

Strict enforcement of tobacco-free guideline is 

necessary to help protect our youth from addictive 

substances such as tobacco and drugs     

The World Bank's report of 2019 that the illegal trade of cigarettes in Bangladesh is the lowest among the 27 countries; only 1.8 percent. Therefore, the propaganda about cigarette revenue evasion and illegal trade is just an attempt to confuse the policymakers. 

They said that consumers pay almost all (96 percent) of the revenue from cigarettes as indirect taxes, so it is not true that cigarette companies pay the most taxes. On the other hand, factory owners also magnify the size of their workforce to a great extent to extract benefits by using the spectre of mass lay-offs before budget.

Tobacco as we know is often the gateway to drugs for youth, as many of the drug addicts start with tobacco. Hence, strict enforcement of tobacco-free guideline is necessary to help protect our youth from addictive substances such as tobacco and drugs.

As a country we should aim to become a tobacco-free society, this is because it is a part of sustainable development. 

The ongoing crisis of Covid-19 pandemic lets us to redesign our health policies and also allows us to put emphasis on much harmful social norms like tobacco use. A comprehensive public policy attack on this pressing issue is the need of the hour.