World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) will be observed today in the country as elsewhere in the world highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco uses, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
This year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day is ‘Tobacco and Lung Health’.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day, reports BSS.
In his message the President said, “Tobacco push the people to death gradually. Smoking is called entrance of the drug abuse. Tobacco consumption is making the young generation burdens for the family and the state.” Noting that more than 70 lakh people die every year due to tobacco consumption, he said, according to Atlas, 1.61 lakh people die in Bangladesh every year due to tobacco related diseases.
Emphasising on creating awareness to prevent tobacco consumption, Hamid urged the authorities concerned to execute the laws and regulations properly to this end.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, reminded formulation of sustainable development goals, giving importance to control of non-communicable diseases and effective implementation of UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
“Importance is being given worldwide on tackling diseases like cancer, heart ailments, stroke, diabetes and asthma, by reducing the use of tobacco. World Health Organization has formulated FCTC in this regard,” she said.
The government amended Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005 in 2013 and formulated Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Rule, 2015, the premier said, adding that 1 percent surcharge has been imposed on the selling price of tobacco products from 2014-15.
Sheikh Hasina said the government approved the Health Development Surcharge Management Policy-2017 to use money collected as surcharge in controlling tobacco.
The prime minister also said it is under the government’s consideration to increase tax on tobacco and make the tax infrastructure easier.
The President and the Prime Minister wished all the programmes of the day a success.
The national newspapers will publish special supplements while Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels will air special programmes highlighting the harmful effects of tobacco use.