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Home » Latest News » More than 500 children took an oath to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh

More than 500 children took an oath to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh

Shastho Shurokkha Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) organized ‘National Children’s Day Celebration and Anti-Tobacco Pledge Program’ at Bangladesh Shishu Academy Auditorium today, Wednesday. About five hundred children and youth leaders participated in the event. 

The Chief Guest of the event, Mr. Md. Nurul Islam Sujan MP, Honorable Minister of Railways of the Government of Bangladesh, said, “children and youth should build their lives according to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s ideals. Moreover, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a target of eliminating tobacco from Bangladesh by 2040. To achieve that goal, our youth needs to be aware.”

In the speech of the special guest of the program Mr. Md. Faridul Haque Khan, MP, Honorable State Minister of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Bangladesh, said, “to celebrate the National Children’s Day it is our responsibility to protect the country from the curse of tobacco. Moreover, we must all work together to prevent tobacco. Efforts to reduce tobacco use through effective tobacco tax increases should continue.”

In the speech of the special guest of the program Mr. Aminul Islam Amin, Relief and Social Welfare Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, said, “Through the celebration of Children’s Day today, children should learn from the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Children need to know that we need to improve our character, thinking, and consciousness to achieve Smart Bangladesh. Let us take an oath to build an enlightened Bangladesh by following the path shown by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

In the speech of the special guest of the program, public health expert Mr. Ataur Rahman Masud said, “3 crore 78 lakh adults of Bangladesh use tobacco products. And about 7 percent of the country’s underage population uses tobacco. Enforcement on tobacco products will prevent about 10 lakh youth from using tobacco and save about 5 lakh from premature death.”

Dr. Nizam Uddin Ahmed, Executive Director of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation and Vice-Chair of GAVI CSO Steering Committee presented the main theme of the event. He said, “Non-communicable diseases are responsible for 67 percent of deaths in Bangladesh every year where tobacco products are the main cause of these deaths. Among these diseases, 30 percent of people die from heart disease alone.” He further said, “About 4 crore people consume tobacco in Bangladesh. Because of them, the remaining 13 crore people are also affected by the effects of tobacco. Therefore, strong tobacco control laws are of immense importance to protect our public health, especially our young society and children and adolescents, and to prevent non-communicable diseases.”

President of the event Ms. Sharita Millat CIP, Chairman of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation, said, “Our Honorable Prime Minister has announced to make Bangladesh tobacco free by 2040. A smoke-free Bangladesh will be possible in the future only if today’s children and youth refrain from smoking and tobacco as promised.”

The main objective of the event was to increase awareness among the youth to prevent smoking and tobacco and to ensure their active participation in building a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 as announced by the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Advertising strategies of tobacco companies make children and teenagers interested in smoking and tobacco products, which later lead to addiction. Therefore, awareness raising and participation of all and media representatives in order to accelerate the amendment process of the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act was also emphasised in the event. 

Senior officials of government and non-governmental organizations and high-level representatives of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) also attended the event. The program was conducted by the Director of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation Prof. Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam.

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