• Friday, Feb 21, 2020
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Minister: Tobacco eats up Tk30,570 cr per year

  • Published at 10:05 pm January 23rd, 2020
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Zahid Maleque said about 1,500,000 adults have been suffering from tobacco-related diseases, while more than 61,000 children are getting victimized of passive smoking

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque has said Bangladesh spends around Tk30,570 crore every year due to the deadly diseases and early deaths of people caused by tobacco.

“According to the Tobacco Atlas 2018, over 161,000 people die in Bangladesh every year suffering from tobacco-related diseases,” he said while replying a starred question placed by ruling party lawmaker Begum Shamsun Nahar (Women Seat-13) in the Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday.

Citing the findings of a study titled "The Economic Cost of Tobacco Users in Bangladesh: A Health Cost Approach", Maleque said at present, about 1,500,000 adults have been suffering from tobacco-related diseases, while more than 61,000 children are getting victimized of passive smoking, falling sick in deadly diseases, reports BSS.

He said Bangladesh has to spend around Tk30,570 crore every year in addressing the deadly diseases and early deaths of people caused by tobacco, which was 1.4% of the national income in fiscal 2017-18.

The health minister said tobacco is a harmful product as it poses risk to environment, public health and economy during its production, processing and uses.

“The use of both tobacco and smokeless tobacco is a serious and deadly addiction,” he said, adding passive smoking also causes serious harm to non-smokers.

Observing that addressing the tobacco-related diseases and deaths is a big challenge for Bangladesh, Maleque said people are exposed to various deadly diseases, including stroke, cancer and heart diseases, due to tobacco use.

At the South Asian Speakers Summit on January 31 in 2016, he said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared that Bangladesh would be tobacco-free by 2040.

In line with the declaration of the prime minister, the government has already formulated a draft roadmap to make the country free from tobacco by 2040, he added.