Citizens urge PM to impose ban on tobacco marketing
A group of citizens has urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to impose a temporary ban on the marketing and sale of all tobacco products during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect public health. The list of 100 signatories, including economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, convener of National Anti-Tobacco Platform and National Prof Brig (retd) Abdul Malik, sent a letter to the PM, said a press release. According to WHO, the use of tobacco increases the risk of coronavirus infection and also serious illness due to lung disease or reduced lung capacity, they said. They mentioned in their letter that tobacco products also weaken the immune system, making it extremely vulnerable to coronavirus infection. A number of countries including India, South Africa and Botswana have already taken this WHO warning very seriously and imposed temporary ban on the sale of all tobacco products, they added. The eminent citizens including Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, former vice-cChancellor of Dhaka University, emphasised utilising the global experience to effectively combat the spread of novel coronavirus.