Tobacco uses increase deaths, hinder economic prosperity experts

Experts at a research findings dissemination conference on tobacco control Monday observed that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) cause deaths or become life-long partners of tobacco users, thus harming people and hindering sustainable development of the country’s economy.

They informed that a total of 161,000 people annually die in Bangladesh due to diseases like heart attack and cancer caused for use of tobacco products – a major factor for NCDs. They made the observations at the Research Findings Dissemination Conference on Tobacco Control in Bangladesh, held at Lakeshore Hotel in the city, said a press release.

Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad spoke at the opening session of the day-long conference as the chief guest.

The day-long conference was organized to unveil and disseminate the findings of nine research projects – five conducted by student researchers of different public and private universities and four by experienced researchers in different academic institutions and organizations. Besides, 10 selected research studies were presented in the conference through poster presentation.

President of the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh and Advisor of the Bangladesh Tobacco Control Research National Professor Dr Brigadier (Rtd) Abdul Malik chaired the opening session of the conference.

Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP), in collaboration with the Institute for Global Tobacco Control Bangladesh Tobacco Control Research Network (BTCRN) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), Baltimore, USA, organised the conference.

Expressing his concerns over unsatisfactory progress and failure for reducing the use of tobacco uses, Professor Azad urged all health workers for strengthening their drive to check increase of the habit of smocking and uses of other tobacco products.

He also stressed on the need for conducting more researches for identifying the root causes of spread of tobacco uses and thus helps the government to undertake effective measures to check that bad practice.

Abdul Malik said the country should eliminate NCDs in order to attain economic prosperity and SDGs and reducing tobacco uses is a must for achieving that milestone. “Tobacco industry is very powerful and they take very strategic steps to promote the use of their products. Besides, users become addicted to tobacco,” he mentioned urging the parents and other to protect youths so that they do not use tobacco.

“Researches help a lot in identifying the actual situation and adverse impact of uses of tobacco,” he said mentioning that the government should prepare a roadmap and take a national programme to bring effective results in this area.