30 May 2023, 17:14

World No Tobacco Day tomorrow

DHAKA, May 30, 2023 (BSS) - World No Tobacco Day-2023 will be observed tomorrow in the country as elsewhere in the world with the theme 'Grow food, not tobacco'.

To mark the day, various anti-tobacco organizations have chalked out programmes.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today issued separate messages wishing all the programmes on the day a success.

On the occasion, the President, in his message, said: "Agricultural land suitable for food production is decreasing due to various reasons, including ever-growing population across the globe and urbanization."

On the other hand, various problems including climate change, Russia-Ukraine war are adversely affecting food production, the head of the state added.

In such a situation, necessary initiatives must be taken to cultivate food grains in all agricultural lands to ensure food security, he emphasized.

"That is why it is important to grow food grains instead of growing harmful drugs and tobacco on food producing agricultural land," he added.

He underscored the need for encouraging the concerned farmers by providing necessary technical assistance to increase sustainable and nutritious crop cultivation.

Taking into account the multidimensional harms of tobacco, reducing tobacco cultivation will accelerate the path to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the president said.

To eliminate tobacco from Bangladesh, both production and consumption of it must be reduced, he added.

At the same time, proper implementation and enforcement of existing tobacco control laws should be ensured along with necessary amendments, said Shahabuddin.

"I call upon the civil society, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media to make concerted efforts in this regard," the president continued.

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the World Health Organization (WHO) has formulated the 'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to reduce tobacco use.

In light of the FCTC, the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, was enacted in Bangladesh in 2005 and amended in 2013, the premier added.

Considering tobacco as a threat to development, the United Nations formulated the 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) by including effective implementation of the FCTC and control of non-communicable diseases, she said.

Awami League led government has included the subject of tobacco control in the 7th and 8th five-year plans to achieve the SDGs, she said, adding that after all, at the South Asian Speaker's Summit-2016, the government announced to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040.

"For that purpose, our government is working relentlessly," she continued.

In the context of global warming and the Russia-Ukraine war, the possibility of a global food crisis has emerged, the premier said, adding that in this situation whoever has fallow land should be brought under cultivation to boost food production.

She urged everyone to stay away from the dangerous addiction of smoking and tobacco for sound health.

"I hope, through raising public awareness and the practical role of stakeholders, we will be able to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040, Insha Allah," the premier said.

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