World No Tobacco Day will be observed in the country on Tuesday as elsewhere in the globe.
The theme of the World No Tobacco Day for 2022 as set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “Tobacco: Threat to our environment.”
This theme is particularly relevant for Bangladesh and other developing countries where 90 percent of all tobacco production is concentrated, said a press release from PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), an anti-tobacco platform.
The President and thePrime Minister have issued separate messages on the occasion.
President Abdul Hamid called upon the government as well as civil society members, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media to make concerted efforts to save people, especially the younger generation, from the dangers of smoking and tobacco.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “At the South Asian Speakers Summit 2018, I announced that Bangladesh will be tobacco free by 2040. Our government is working relentlessly towards that goal as we need healthy and strong population to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh."
Tobacco causes over 84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and creates the world’s most littered item, cigarette butts.
Bangladesh ranks 14th in the world on the basis of area used for tobacco cultivation, 12th for tobacco production in quantity, and holds a share of 1.3% of global tobacco production.
According to Tobacco Atlas, tobacco cultivation accounts for 31 percent of deforestation in Bangladesh.
The use of tobacco causes around 161,000 deaths in Bangladesh a year. It has been ranked as the fourth major contributing factors behind premature deaths in the country.
Also read: Experts want THR in tobacco control plans
PROGGA suggests amending existing tobacco control law, hiking cigarette and tobacco product prices imposing specific excise taxes, divesting government’s investment from British American Tobacco, promoting alternative farming and livelihood options, expediting the adoption of a code of conduct in line with FCTC Article 5.3 for all government officials as necessary measures to curb the prevalence of tobacco use.