Journalists and development activists at a participatory discussion here today demanded enhancement of taxes on tobacco products for the sake of saving many people from various non-contagious diseases caused by tobacco consumption.
They viewed more than 45.9 million people use tobacco products, both smoke and smokeless, and 1.2 million of them are infected with various diseases like lung cancer, brain haemorrhage, heart and respiratory tract infections and around 57,000 of the infected patients die every year. Moreover, around Taka 51 billion are being spent for treatment purposes of the infected patients yearly.
Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) and Tobacco Control Coalition jointly organised the ATMA’s regional meeting at the conference hall of Association for Community Development (ACD) demanding enhanced taxes on all tobacco products including bidi and cigarettes.
Ehsanul Amin Emon, Project Coordinator of ACD, who spoke on the occasion as focal person, said proper execution of the tobacco control law has become an urgent need to protect many non-smokers from passive smoking. He said Bangladesh is one of the highest tobacco using countries that has now become a matter of grave concern.
Social movement is also needed to ensure hundred percent smoke-free public places and transports for freeing millions of second hand and passive smocking from various harmful effects, he added.
He defined that the frequent and indiscriminate smoking in the public places and transports affected the non-smokers more than direct smokers.
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