Tobacco eats up nearly Tk 306b per year: Minister

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 22:56, Jan 23, 2020 | Updated : 23:19, Jan 23, 2020

Zahid MalequeBangladesh has to spend around Tk 305.70 billion every year due to the deadly diseases and early deaths of people caused by tobacco, says Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
“According to the Tobacco Atlas-2018, over 161,000 people die in Bangladesh every year suffering from tobacco-related diseases,” he told the Parliament during question-answer session on Thursday (Jan 23).
Citing the findings of a study titled ‘The Economic Cost of Tobacco Users in Bangladesh: A Health Cost Approach’, Maleque said, about 1.5 million adults have been suffering from tobacco-related diseases now, while more than 61,000 children are getting victimised of passive smoking, falling sick in deadly diseases.
“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.
The health minister said tobacco is a harmful product as it poses risk to the environment, public health and economy during its production, processing and uses.
At the South Asian Speakers Summit on Jan 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.