World No Tobacco Day will be observed today in the country highlighting health risks of tobacco consumption and effective policies to reduce its use.
Every year, the World Health Organisation and global partners observe World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) on 31 May. But this year, the country will celebrate the Day today.
The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on ‘Tobacco and Lung Health.’
The campaign will increase awareness mainly on the negative impact of tobacco on lung health from cancer to chronic respiratory disease.
The slogan of the Day is, ‘Don’t Let Tobacco: Take Your Breath Away.
Choose Health Not Tobacco’.
Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Wednesday organised a press briefing on observing the day in befitting manner at conference room of the ministry at Secretariat here where Joint Secretary M Khairul Alam Sheikh briefed at the event.
Additional Secretary (Development) Babul Kumar Saha and Additional Secretary M Saidur Rahman were present, among others.
Emphasizing on creating awareness to prevent tobacco consumption, M Khairul Alam Sheikh urged the authorities concerned to execute the laws and regulations properly to this end.
Over 70 lakh people die every year due to tobacco consumption and more than nine lakh people affected by passive smoking, he said.
‘The government amended Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005 in 2013 and formulated Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Rule, 2015,’ he said, adding that one percent surcharge has been imposed on the selling price of tobacco products from 2014-15.
M Khairul Alam also said it is under the government’s consideration to increase tax on tobacco and make the tax infrastructure easier.
National Tobacco Control Cell Health Services Division, WHO, different government and non-government organisations have taken several initiatives to observe the Day.
The national newspapers will publish special supplements while Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels will air special programmes highlighting the harmful effects of tobacco use.