Women, children worst victims of indirect smoking

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DHAKA, Sept 9, 2018 (BSS) – Many people have a wrong notion that only the direct smoking is harmful and the passive or indirect smoking is not so much injurious. But the reality is that the indirect smoking is as harmful as the direct one. Mostly, women and children are the victims of the indirect smoking.

A research, conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) in 192 countries across the globe, revealed that around six lakh people die every year due to passive smoking. Of them, 1.65 lakh are children.

Heart diseases, lung cancer, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases are caused by passive smoking, the report said, adding children and women are more affected than men.

Every year, around 81,000 women and children die in the country due to passive smoking, the report said.

Sources said the government has taken different steps to check smoking in the country. The government has passed Tobacco Control Policy 2015 with a provision to prevent passive smoking.

There are strong provisions in the amended law of 2013 and the policy of 2015 to protect women and children form indirect smoking. Smoking in public places and public transports is strictly prohibited.

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. More than 43 percent of the adult population use tobacco in any form.

Recently, at an anti-tobacco programme, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said harmful impacts of tobacco would be incorporated in the textbooks to create awareness against all sorts of tobacco consumption among the students.

“Tobacco consumption has huge negative impacts on human health… So, we should educate our students about the harmful effects of tobacco,” he said.

The anti-tobacco campaigners called upon the government to enforce the anti-tobacco laws strictly to stop all forms of promotional campaigns on tobacco and tobacco products aiming to protect the people from its harmful effects.

Registrar Doctor of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital Dr Saidur Rahman Shohag told BSS that tobacco products are very cheap and available in Bangladesh and that is why foreign companies want to invest in tobacco business here.

“We have to raise awareness among the mass people, particularly our school going children, against tobacco. The consequences of tobacco consumption should be incorporated in textbooks,” he said.

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