Citing that about 450 people are dying every day due to tobacco related diseases, health experts, at an event, said Tobacco control law needed to be strengthened as soon as possible to prevent this large number of deaths in Bangladesh.
The National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh in collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids organised a workshop titled "Accelerating Tobacco Control Law Amendment to Protect Public Health" in a city hotel on Monday.
While presenting the keynote, Dr Sheikh Md Mahbubus Sobhan, registrar (Clinical Research), National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, said use of tobacco products is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, cancer, chest disease and many other preventable diseases and deaths.
"Every year more than 1.61 lakh people die of tobacco related diseases in the country. To protect public health from these harms of tobacco, the health ministry has taken initiatives to strengthen the Tobacco Control Law," he went on saying.
The sooner the law is amended, the more lives will be saved, he also opined.
Mostafizur Rahman, lead policy advisor of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, said the government has taken an initiative to align the existing tobacco control law with the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. It is important to complete the amendment process as soon as possible.
The health ministry has formulated a draft amendment to the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, 2005.
Health experts, at the event, called for the speedy approval of a proposed amendment of the act.
Around 35.3% (3.78 crores) of adults, above 15, in the country consume tobacco products and some 42.7% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke in public places including workplaces and transports, they added.