Nearly 4 cr people consume tobacco: Maleque

DHAKA, May 29, 2017 (BSS) - State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque today said nearly four crore people in the country are consuming tobacco and tobacco products.

Referring to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in 2009, he said 43.3 percent people of Bangladesh use tobacco.

The state minister revealed the statistics at a press briefing at his ministry on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day-2017.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim and senior officials were present at the press briefing. With the theme "Tobacco- a threat to development",

the World No Tobacco Day will be observed in the country and elsewhere across the globe on May 31.

Maleque said the use of tobacco should be stopped as it causes different serious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma. According to WHO, Bangladesh earns around Taka 2,400 crore per year from the tobacco sector, but the country incurs yearly loss about Taka 5,000 crore as treatment cost for fatal diseases, he said, adding that the gross loss due to fatal diseases in tobacco sector is Taka 2,600 crore.

The government has amended the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (control) Act 2005 to make it more effective and time-befitting, he said, adding, "We have also enacted the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (control) Rule-2015 so that this law could be used smoothly to make a tobacco-free country."

According to a study in 2004 conducted by WHO, each year tobacco kills six million people worldwide and the death toll is likely to reach eight million a year if the current trend continues. In Bangladesh, at least 57,000 people die each year from eight tobacco-related diseases. The rate of tobacco use in Bangladesh is one of the highest in the world.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)