DHAKA: The World No Tobacco Day is being observed in Bangladesh as well as 174 other countries in the world Thursday with the theme `Tobacco Industry Interference`.
The government, non-government and socio-cultural organisations have arranged various programmes, including discussions, rallies and cultural programmes highlighting the spirit of the day across the country.
The main programme of the day will be held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
Health Ministry held a press briefing on Wednesday in this regard.
While addressing the press meet, Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Huq said, “Some 57, 00 people of over 30 years of age die while 3, 82,000 get disabled every year in the country due to tobacco use.”
Quoting a report of a survey conducted in Bangladesh by Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2009, he informed that tobacco consumption is growing in the country, pointing out that 43.3 % of over 15 years of age use tobacco.
He said the existing the Smoking and Tobacco Control Act, 2004, is being amended to make it up to date and more effective.
Meanwhile, the President and the Prime Minister have delivered separate speeches marking the day.
President M Zillur Rahman said everybody in the country expected that a tobacco-free society would be build with united efforts and willingness of all.
"It is very important to create mass awareness and a social movement to reduce smoking and use of tobacco products," he said.
Zillur Rahman urged all including the anti-tobacco campaigners like Adhunik, Manas and Bangladesh Cancer Society to work together effectively along with the government to control tobacco addiction.
In her message to mark the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said silent killers like tobacco and tobacco products have gradually been pushing an individual, a family and a society towards ruination.
She said that cancer, heart diseases and other killer diseases are increasing day by day for smoking and the use of tobacco.
The Prime Minister urged the people of the country to come forward to discard the habit of smoking and extend cooperation to her government to enact the Tobacco Control Act and execution of the act.
BDST: 0312 HRS, MAY 31, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor / Maria Salam, Asst Output Editor