The Health Ministry has requested Industries Ministry to order tobacco companies to halt their production, distribution and sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter, issued on Monday, the ministry said, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking increases the risk of getting infected with the coronavirus as it damages the lungs and other body parts. The possibility of virus transmission to mouth from fingers increases for smokers.
But the Industries Ministry gave special permission to tobacco companies for continuing their production, distribution and sales amid the pandemic, when many countries around the world including neighbouring India have banned cigarette and other tobacco products to contain the virus spread.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also announced to build tobacoo-free Bangladesh. So, production and sale of tobacco products should be suspended, the letter reads further.