Tobacco farming needs to be replaced: Nasim

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Health minister Mohammed Nasim on Thursday stressed that tobacco farming needs to be stopped immediately through working out an alternative option for the livelihoods of tobacco farmers.
While addressing a roundtable, titled ‘Tuberculosis and Tobacco: Double Burden’ in the capital, the health minister said tobacco is one of the major risk factors for tuberculosis.
The roundtable was jointly organised by BRAC and Samakal where Mojibur Rahman, coordinator of National Tuberculosis Control Programme presented the key concept paper.
It stated that 23 per cent of the country’s population consumes tobacco through smoking among which 44.7 per cent is male and 1.5 per cent is female.
It was also seen that 26.4 per cent male and 27.9 per cent female consume tobacco in other ways.
Nasim said, ‘I think this roundtable will be successful if all three of these ministries sit together to figure out a more integrated approach to combat tuberculosis.’
Director general of the Directorate General of Health Services Abul Kalam Azad, line director of National Tuberculosis Control Programme Shahid Md Sadiqul Islam, joint secretary and coordinator of National Tobacco Control Cell, ministry of health Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, and director of BRAC’s TB, Malaria and WASH programme Md Akramul Islam, among others, took part in the discussion.
The participants also suggested increasing mass awareness, prohibiting tobacco ads, no exemption of tax on tobacco products, reducing tobacco production and supply, farmers and banning smoking in public places as the most effective ways to reduced tobacco consumption.

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