40 MPs for achieving tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040

Over 161,000 deaths were directly caused by tobacco in 2020

As many as 40 members of parliament (MPs) have adopted a declaration to achieve tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040, participating in a conference in Cox’s Bazar.

MP Prof Md Habibe Millat presented the declaration at a media briefing on Friday in Cox’s Bazar while other MPs were present at the session and shared their views and solidarity with the declaration.

The three-day “Conference on Achieving a Tobacco-Free Bangladesh by 2040” was organized by the Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing (BPFHW) at the Sea Pearl Resort in Cox’s Bazar.

The objective of the conference was to discuss scopes and ways to deliver the visionary statement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2016 to make the country tobacco-free by 2040.

The conference was organized in association with Shastho Shurokkha Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Bangladesh. 

Signed by Prof Dr Md Habibe, chairman of BPFHW, the 16-point declaration acknowledged the progress on realizing the commitment so far, recognized the urgent need for action and recommended some key actions to realize the prime minister’s vision.

The declaration valued the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and recognized the scope of contribution in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

It expressed concern over the fact that over 42% of adults are exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke at the workplace and 59% of youth in public places. 

Over 161,000 deaths were directly caused by tobacco in 2020, 1.5 million adults suffering from diseases attributable to tobacco use, and nearly 61,000 children suffering from diseases due to exposure to secondhand smoke. 

The officials noted the progress of Bangladesh in tobacco control, through the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act 2005, as amended in 2013, and the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Rules 2006 and 2015, which led to a reduction in overall adult smoking rates from 43.3% in 2009 to 35.3% in 2017.