Govt mulls over banning e cigarettes

DHAKA The government is considering banning

production import and marketing of e cigarettes in the country soon to

refrain the youths from consuming the harmful tobacco products.

It will be a time befitting decision to ban the production import and

marketing of all kinds of products made from tobacco including e cigarettes

and Vaping in the country within the quickest possible time to protect the

youths from the growing use and harms of the tobacco Medical Education and

Family Welfare Division Secretary Shaikh Yusuf Harun said.

On behalf of Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque Harun was

addressing a press conference titled Emerging Tobacco Product (e cigarettes

and Vaping): Bangladesh and International Perspectives and Our

Responsibilities at the ministry here.

Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General Professor Dr

Abul Kalam Azad and Regional Director of the South Asia Programmes at

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Vandana Shah also spoke at the press

conference.

The use of tobacco products by youths is being increased gradually across

the country while numerous sales centres have been set up in different

divisional cities including the capital Dhaka Harun observed adding the

tobacco products are also being sold out through online and using social

media like facebook.

Noting that over 30 countries including neighbouring countries India Sri

Lanka Nepal Thailand and Singapore have banned the emerging tobacco

products Harun said Bangladesh should utilise the global experience.

Replying to a query Abul Kalam Azad said It (emerging tobacco product)

is new for us.

Once upon a time e cigarettes were considered as the safe alternative to

the tobacco. But different harmful sides of the emerging tobacco products

have been discovered in different researches. So we are now thinking about

taking steps in this regard Azad added.

Vandana Shah said multinational tobacco companies are producing and

marketing the e cigarettes to different countries across the world targeting

the youths and children.

Use of emerging tobacco products turned into alarming shape in different

countries including the USA and the UK Shah said adding that production

import and marketing of such harmful products should be banned in Bangladesh

before it turns into alarming level.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in its latest report has identified

the e cigarette as certainly harmful product to the health.

According to the available data about 49 percent of the countrys total

population is youth who are 24 year old or under 24 years. It will be

difficult to achieve the target of transforming the country into tobacco free

one by 2040 if the government fails to refrain the youths from using tobacco

products.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)