Tobacco causes around eight million deaths worldwide and among those 1.2 million are non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoking.
According to PROGGA, a research-based organisation, in Bangladesh, tobacco-related illness claims 1.26 lakh deaths a year.
PROGGA reported the information in a press release on the World No Tobacco Day that is being observed today.
Tobacco companies spend $9 billion a year to attract teenagers and the youth and transform them into future loyal customers, PROGGA said.
Teens who smoke are three times more likely than non-smokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine.
On May 18, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB)-Chattogram, the Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Art (Bita) and humanitarian organisation ELMA demanded a temporary ban on tobacco products to protect young people from Covid-19 death risks.
In a joint statement, the organisations said, "Experts say tobacco users are more likely to be infected with the novel coronavirus because their lungs are weaker. Young people have weak lungs due to their habit of smoking and other smokeless tobacco. As novel coronavirus first strikes the respiratory tract, young people are being affected more."
The World Health Organization (WHO) said tobacco use increases the risk of novel coronavirus infection. Tobacco products increase lung infections and illness and weaken the body's immune system, which is extremely risky for Covid-19 patients.
During coronavirus pandemic, to save lives and protect public health, and also facilitate transformation towards a tobacco-free future within 2040, the government must take strict measures to end all manipulation tactics of tobacco companies, said WHO.