United efforts required to make the country tobacco free: Environment Minister

Publish: 8:53 PM, January 15, 2023 | Update: 8:53:PM, January 15, 2023

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin MP said, if the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Environment, Forest and Climate Change work together, tobacco cultivation can be stopped. Farmers will be required to give some incentives in that case. Cultivation of rice, wheat and corn should be encouraged in those lands, he added.

The Minister said, tobacco producers, workers, traders-all admit that tobacco is harmful to people, biodiversity and the environment and tobacco should be stopped to save people’s lives.

On Sunday, the Minister said these while addressing as chief guest at a discussion meeting titled ‘What to do about the harmful effects of tobacco in context of environment and climate change’ at the Ahsania Mission Auditorium in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

The Minister said that trees are being destroyed due to tobacco. Our afforestation is 17 percent, it should be increased to 24 percent. If we can start working to stop tobacco cultivation from the current year, by 2024, we will achieve the complete success.

Additional Secretary of Health Ministry Kazi Zebunnessa Begum said in her speech as the special guest, nicotine test should be brought under the scope of government recruitment.

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said, tobacco destroys the national and family economy. The family economy is severely affected when the person dies. It also causes damage to the national economy. Their future becomes dark.

While presenting the key-note paper, Director of Health and Wash Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Iqbal Masud said that 12 kgs wood is required to burn one kg of tobacco. And one tree is fell down for 300 cigarettes while 3.7 liters of water is consumed to produce one stick of cigarette.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) President Kazi Rafiqul Alam presided over the discussion meeting while the Executive Director of the DAM Md. Shajedul Qayyum Dulal gave the welcome speech. Among others, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Bangladesh’s Lead Policy Advisor Md. Mostafizur Rahman and Vice-President of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Kazi Shariful Alam were present at that time.

Health sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) organized the discussion meeting.