Health Desk—May 31, 2017: State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Mashiur Rahman Ranga stressed the need for stopping sale of cigarettes within three kms of educational institutions to discourage smoking among students.
“School and college-going students are easily addicted to smoking due to easy availability of cigarettes near their educational institutions," he said.
The minister said these while addressing a discussion held at DAM’s Dhanmondi office in the capital on Tuesday.
Stopping of the sale of cigarettes may keep them away from the bad habit, the junior minister said, calling upon the authorities concerned to take necessary steps in this regard.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in association with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation arranged the discussion marking the World No Tobacco Day, which is being observed across the world on Wednesday.
Speaking as the chief guest, Ranga also stressed taking up comprehensive steps, including raising massive awareness, making joint efforts and imposing higher tax on tobacco products, aiming to cut tobacco use in Bangladesh.
Presenting his keynote paper, head of health sector of DAM Iqbal Masud said the use of tobacco products is one of the causes of preventable deaths in the country.
Citing statistics of the Institute for Health Matrix and Evaluation 2013, he said one lakh people die of the tobacco related diseases in the country annually. Tobacco products are cheaper in Bangladesh than that of other countries in the world, said Iqbal Masud, adding that about 3 per cent of the country's GDP is being spoiled annually due to tobacco use.
Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) director general Shah Mohammad Alamgir, chief health officer of Dhaka South City Corporation Brigadier General Sheikh Salahuddin and CTFK grants manager Dr Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan, among others, spoke at the discussion with DAM president Kazi Rafiqul Alam in the chair.