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Lawmakers vow to resist tobacco use

  • Mohammad Al Amin from Cox’s Bazaar
  • 20 May, 2022 12:00 AM
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Lawmakers have vowed to fight against the use of tobacco and tobacco products that causes birth of autistic children and death of a large number of people every year.

They were speaking at a national conference titled "Members of Parliament (MPs) Conference for Achieving Tobacco-Free Bangladesh by 2040" held at a hotel in Cox’s Bazaar on Thursday, the second day of three-day event that started on Wednesday.

Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing organised the programme with the support of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Bangladesh.

A total of 36 lawmakers including five parliamentary standing committee chairmen participated in the conference on the second day while 32 lawmakers including five parliamentary standing committee chairmen took part on the first day of the event.

On Thursday, five presentations were made by five lawmakers in two sessions. Prof Dr AFM Ruhul Haque, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Science and Technology, presided over the first session while A.S.M Feroz, Chairman, Committee on Public Undertakings at Bangladesh Parliament, chaired the second session.

During his presentation titled ‘Tobacco Control Law Amendment: Gaps and Needs for Achieving Tobacco-free Nation’, Shameem Haider Patwary MP said according to tobacco atlas report 2020, more than 162,000 people died due to the use of tobacco.

About 1.5 million adults are suffering from tobacco-related illness in Bangladesh and more than 61,000 children (below 15) are suffering from diseases caused by exposure to secondhand smoking.

In 2017-18, Bangladesh government earned revenue of Tk 22,810 crore from tobacco sector, but health cost of tobacco related diseases was Tk 30,560 crore during the time.

On the day, Aroma Dutta MP made presentation titled ‘Ensuring Hundred Percent Smoking-free Atmosphere through Abolishing Designated Smoking Zone’.

Besides, Dr Shamil Uddin Ahmed Shimul, MP, Md Ahsanul Islam Titu, MP, and Prof Dr Md Abdul Aziz gave their presentation titled ‘Prohibiting Display of Tobacco Products at Sales Centre’, ‘Prohibiting CSR Activities of Tobacco Companies’ and ‘Banning E-cigarette to Protect Youths’ respectively.

Among others, Shahiduzzaman Sarkar, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Md. Abdus Shahid, Chairman of Committee on Estimates of Bangladesh Parliament, Prof Dr Md. Habibe Millat of Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing and Vandana Shah, Regional Director, Rowshan Ara Mannan, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Roads and Bridges, and South Asia Programs of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) spoke at the programme.