বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৮ এপ্রিল ২০২৪, ০৪:০২ অপরাহ্ন

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Vision for a Tobacco-Free Bangladesh Celebrates 8th Anniversary with Rally and Press Conference”

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Update : বৃহস্পতিবার, ১ ফেব্রুয়ারী, ২০২৪

Staff Reporter, Dhaka :
Celebrating the 8th anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s declaration for a Tobacco-Free Bangladesh by 2040, a rally took place in Dhaka on January 31, 2023. Initiated by the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, the rally, featuring hundreds of participants from anti-tobacco organizations and civil society, stretched from the High Court Shrine to the National Press Club starting at 10 am.

Subsequently, a press conference convened at the Tafazzal Hossain Manik Mia Hall of the National Press Club at 11:30 am.

The primary focus of the press conference highlighted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s groundbreaking announcement in 2016 as the world’s first head of state committing to eliminate tobacco use in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister outlined three crucial directives to achieve this objective: the establishment of a fund through a health improvement surcharge, the adoption of a robust tobacco duty policy by streamlining the existing tariff structure, and the enforcement of effective measures to implement tobacco control laws. The Prime Minister was commended for taking such a bold step.

As a special guest, Professor Golam Mohiuddin Farooq, President of the Bangladesh Cancer Society, emphasized the detrimental impact of tobacco use on public health, resulting in premature deaths and financial strain on the healthcare system. He echoed the need for collaborative efforts in amending laws to realize a tobacco-free Bangladesh as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Professor Khandkar Abdul Awal Rizvi expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and called for collective action to implement the tobacco-free goal. Professor Sohel Reza Chowdhury underscored the urgency of immediate action, noting the Prime Minister’s announcement at the South Asian Speakers Summit and the need for prompt implementation.

The press conference drew the participation of key stakeholders, including Mustafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK)-Bangladesh, Shafiqul Islam, Head of Program (Tobacco Control) at Vital Strategies, Ataur Rahman, Advocacy Manager at CTFK, along with students from various medical colleges and journalists from diverse media outlets.


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