Statement of 121 doctors for raising tobacco tax to protect public health

Statement of 121 doctors for raising tobacco tax to protect public health

In order to protect public health, 121 eminent doctors of the country have requested the government to increase the tobacco tax.

In a joint statement initiated by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, doctors said tobacco was involved in six of the eight leading causes of preventable death worldwide.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), nearly half of all tobacco users die from tobacco use. Tobacco users have a 57% higher risk of developing tobacco-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, COPD or lung cancer, and a 109% higher risk of other tobacco-related cancers. That is why more than 1 lakh 61 thousand people die of tobacco-related diseases every year in Bangladesh.

35% of adults use tobacco products. As a number which is more than 35 million. Again, minors between the ages of 13 and 15 do not shy away from using tobacco products. As a percentage, it is also about 6.9%.

The number of people who do not smoke, but indirectly suffer from second-hand smoking, is higher than the total number of smokers overall. In terms of numbers, it is about 40 million people, which is more than a direct smoker.

But we are not as concerned about it as we should be. Bigger than that, Bangladesh is one of the most tobacco consuming countries in the world. In this country the price of cigarettes is very low, bidi is cheaper.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the per capita national income (nominal) has increased by 25.4 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 2015-16. However, the price of most cigarettes has remained almost unchanged or has increased slightly. As a result, cigarettes are becoming more readily available. Therefore, it is important to increase the price of cigarettes through a tax increase.

It is said that the government gets revenue of Tk 22,000 crore annually from tobacco companies. But the health damage of tobacco is above 30 thousand crore taka per year. This year’s health sector budget is 29 thousand crores. It turns out that the amount of damage caused by tobacco is more than the budget of the health sector. Another issue is that the amendment of the Tobacco Control Act of 2013 is very important. Only enactment of laws on tobacco control and reform of the existing tobacco tax structure can make the country tobacco-free by 2040, announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Cigarettes are very cheap and readily available in the market due to the multi-layered tax structure of cigarettes in Bangladesh depending on the features and brands. As a result, consumers are able to choose cheaper cigarettes instead of quitting, and the use of cigarettes has been relatively similar in recent years. The availability of tobacco products must be reduced through tax increases.

The doctors who gave the statement are- Professor Dr AFM Ruhal Haque MP, Professor Dr Abdul Aziz MP, Professor Dr Habibe Millat MP, Professor Dr Obaidul Baki, Professor Dr Arup Ratan Chowdhury, Professor Dr Abdus Salam Khan, Professor Dr Believe Akhtar Akhtar, Professor Dr Sheikh Md. Abu Jafar, Professor Dr AMM Shariful Alam, Professor Dr Kamruzzaman Chowdhury, Professor Dr Colonel. Md. Yusuf Ali, Professor Dr Abul Ahsan (Didar), Professor Dr Lt. Colonel (Retd.) Dr Md. Farooq Mia, Lt. Colonel Dr Rubina Yasmin, Professor Dr A. F. M. Anwar Hossain, Professor Dr. Md. Abdul Mobin Chowdhury, Professor Dr. Fauzia Sobhan, Professor Dr. Suraiya Sultana, Professor Dr. Mostafizur Rahman, Professor Dr. MA Rahman, Professor Dr. Zahir Uddin Mahmud, Professor Dr. KBM Abdur Rahman, Major. Sheikh Habibur Rahman, Dr. ABM Sirajul Haque, Dr. Kajal Kumar Karmakar, Dr. MA Jalil, Dr. Nayla Parveen, Dr. Fahrima Akhtar Yuthi, Dr. Ayesha Siddique, Dr. Cynthia Chowdhury, Dr. Jannatul Fawzia, Dr. Ummi Kulchum, Dr. Rubana Kaiser, Dr. Saroyat Jahan Supa, Dr. Nahid Islam Eva, Dr. Tanzina Afroz, Dr. Farhana Afroz, Dr. Sajia Afrin Shanta, Dr. Life Nesa Alam, Dr. Mohammad Russell Chowdhury, Dr. Israt Sharmin, Dr. Zulkar Nine, Dr. Masood Rana, Dr. Tamjidul Islam, Dr. Hasibur Rahman Khan, Dr. Farah’s day, Dr. Farah Naz, Dr. Fahmida Yasmin, Dr. Jebunnesa Parvin, Dr. Tahmina Akhter, Dr. Afsan Naohin, Dr. Nasreen Akhtar, Dr. Rebecca Sultana, Dr. Dil Nishat Khan, Dr. Akanda Raihanatul Jannat, Dr. Laboni Akhter Asha, Dr. Farhana Rahman Mim, Dr. Jinat Fauzia Rosalin, Dr. Fahmida Azim, Dr. Md. Jewel Rana, Dr. Farzana Akhter, Dr. Md. Motaleb Hossain, Dr. Sanjida Afroz, Dr. Sayeda Afroz, Dr. Shaila Rahman Moon, Dr. Afsana Jannat, Dr. Rafia Jannat Jerin, Dr. Dulari Aria Meher, Dr. Tanzina Akhter, Dr. Antara Nishad, Dr. Farah Carnain Sylvie, Dr. Sharmin Sultana, Dr. AKM Nuruzzaman, Dr. Md. Faizul Hasan, Dr. Md. Mohsin, Dr. Md. Sirajul Islam, Dr. Golam Mostafa Mia, Dr. Iffat Ara Akbar, Dr. Raushan Ara Begum, Dr. Lubana Mary, Dr. Surah Jukarup Mumtahina, Dr. Md. Maksudul Hasan, Dr. Md. Shariful Islam Johnny, Dr. Bhaskar Chakraborty, Dr. Rubina Sultana, Dr. Md. Shahjalalur Rahman, Dr. Jannatul Ferdous, Dr., Z. U. Humaira, Dr. Mahbuba Khan, Dr. Taslima Akhter, Dr. Runa Laila, Dr. Md. Abul Hossain, Dr. A. Zubair Khan, Dr. Md. Kamrul Hasan, Dr. Zulfiqar Jinat Chowdhury, Dr. Nilufar Fatema, Dr. Sohail Hossain, Dr. Abdullah Wafi, Dr. Nabil Junaid, Dr. Nazimuddin said. Arif, Dr. Kamrul Islam, Dr. Mostafa Kamruzzaman, Dr. Md. Motashimul Hasan, Dr. Md. Al Rizwan, Dr. Khaleda Akhter, Dr. Sumon Shahriar, Dr. Farzana Afroz, Dr. Syed Jahin U agreed, said. Md. Matiar Rahman, Dr. Md. Saidul Arefin, Dr. Maruf bin Habib, Dr. Md. Fazlul Haque, Dr. Farhana Afrin Ferdousi, Dr. M Ahmed Robin, Dr. Md. Minhaj-ul-Islam Nijhum, Dr Waheeduzzaman Masood, Dr. Tanmoy Dutt, Dr. Taslima Rahman, Dr. Samina Zafar Khaleq, Dr. Masuma Akter Chowdhury, Dr. Ishita Ashrafi, Dr. Addin Maureen, Dr. SK Sharmin and Dr Nasima Akhter.

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