Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday said it is necessary to strengthen the tobacco control law to achieve the goal of a tobacco-free Bangladesh.
He also said the initiative to fortify the tobacco control law to curb tobacco use is a timely one.
The minister came up with the comments during a meeting with a delegation from research and advocacy organization PROGGA and ATMA (Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance) at the Secretariat, said a press release.
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The meeting was organised to inform the minister about the progress made by the Health Ministry in amending the tobacco control law and the potential role that the Agriculture Ministry can play in the process.
Dr Abdur Razzaque said his ministry has full support for the Health Ministry's proposals for tobacco control law amendment.
The delegation of PROGGA and ATMA informed the minister that currently the prevalence of tobacco use stands at 35.3 percent (37.8 million) of the adult population (15 y/o and above).
They said the tobacco-induced deaths and diseases cost the economy dearly since the financial toll is much higher than the revenue generated from tobacco sector.
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Realizing the extent of tobacco’s devastation, the Prime Minister voiced her commitment to build a tobacco-free country by 2040 and accordingly provided the directive to bring time-fitting changes to the tobacco control law, they observed.
Following clear directive from the PM, the Health Ministry took the initiative to amend the law.