A discussion titled 'Tobacco control to protect public health: Expectations from the media' organized with Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum held at Fars Hotel in the capital on 31 March.
The discussion meeting was organized by the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh in collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids, reads a press release.
Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Mahbubus Sobhan, clinical registrar (Research) of the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute presented the keynote at the meeting. In the key note, it was proposed to introduce a specific tax (supplementary duty) on all brands of cigarettes in the financial year 2021-2022 with uniform specific tax at 65% of the retail price. It demanded to fix the price of lower tier cigarettes at TK 50 and TK 70 for medium tier cigarettes with specific tax of Tk 32.50 and TK 45.50 respectively per 10 sticks of cigarettes. Besides, at the higher tier, the retail price of 10 sticks of cigarettes needs to be set at Tk 110 and supplementary tax of Tk 71.50 and TK 140 for premium tier cigarettes while the specific tax should be Tk 91. In the medium term (2021-22 to 2025-26), it is proposed to reduce the price tiers form 4 to 2.
At the meeting, Sharf Uddin Ahmed, consultant, tobacco control program of the National Heart Foundation, said that in order to reduce the availability of tobacco products, prices need to be increased in line with inflation and income growth.
President of Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum Tawfiq Maruf and General Secretary Rashed Rabbi were present as special guests at the meeting.