Achieve SDGs to save youth: Speaker

Views ( 344 ) Shovon Apr 21, 2022
Mentioning that tobacco must be controlled to save youths of the country, Speaker of the Parliament Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury has recommended the amendment of the existing Tobacco Control law and Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).
She said, “Smoking among young people has risen in recent times, posing a threat to the country's public health. Therefore, in addition to raising public awareness against the harmful effects of tobacco products, it is important to amend the existing tobacco control law and enforce it,” she said while talking to the 'Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing' at her office.
The Speaker said, “The government is taking numbers of initiatives to prevent Non-Communicable Disease. But if we could not control the use of tobacco products, all these initiatives will be useless.”
“The use of tobacco products including smoking is increasing among the youth in the country day by day. If we want to protect them, we have to take action immediately.”
Increasing of public awareness is a must, said the Speaker adding that “We have noticed, use of E-Cigarettes is also increasing. The ingredients in this heated tobacco are just as harmful as cigarettes. In order to implement a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 as decelerated by the prime minister, we have to get out of this.”
Prof. Md. Habibe Millat MP, the chairman of Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health & Wellbeing and the founder chairman of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation, discussed some key initiatives taken by MPs to tobacco control.
He said, “In every year, around 1 lack 62 thousand people died in Bangladesh, due to tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco is also the main cause of non-communicable diseases in our country. Because of tobacco, most of our health budget is spent on medical services.”
“We have to amend our existing tobacco control law to get rid of it. Along with it, an increase in tax and price on tobacco products are also necessary. Members of the Parliamentary forum are working on all of these.”
The other MPs present discussed the situation of tobacco use in Bangladesh. Their statements raised various inconsistencies in the Tobacco Control law. These include abolishing 'Designated Smoking Areas', raising the health warning on tobacco packets to 90%, banning retail cigarette sales, banning smoking in restaurants and all public transport, banning the display of tobacco products at the point of sale, Prohibition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of tobacco companies are significant.
Shirin Akhtar, Rana Mohammad Sohail, Advocate Syeda Rubina Akhter and Aparajita MPs also took part at the discussion.