Need for smoking-free educational institutions stressed

Need for smoking-free educational institutions stressed

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Speakers at a discussion here yesterday stressed the need for making the educational institutions free from smoking and other tobacco uses to protect the young generation from the terrible curse of smoking.They viewed tobacco-free students can be an effective means for freeing the young generation from drug addiction, a major concern among the conscious section of the society.Terming the tobacco as the root cause of all the life-decaying drug addictions, the discussants called for preventing the school and college-going adolescents from smoking leading to its destructive consequences. So, time has come to declare all the educational institutions tobacco-free together with its strict enforcement.Association for Community Development (ACD) organised the discussion at Rajshahi Collegiate School in association with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll.Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury addressed the programme as chief guest while Deputy Civil Surgeon Dr Farhana Haque and Deputy Director of Department of Narcotics Control Fazlur Rahman spoke as special guests with Dr Nur Jahan Begum, Headmaster of the school, in the chair.In the society, many of the parents face embarrassing situation with their addicted offspring’s and are being compelled to hand them over to police or rehabilitation center for their rectification,” said Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury.He called for a comprehensive policy involving social, fiscal, administrative, legislative and enforcement-related issues to reduce tobacco consumption among the teenagers.“We also need to strengthen the social movement against tobacco and build people’s awareness substantially,” he added.Dr Farhana Haque said the students must be restricted from using any tobacco products. She said the government should impose high tax on tobacco products to rein in soaring consumption of the harmful products for the sake of public health and the young generation in particular.
She said the number of users is increasing due to the rise in population. “But we are not campaigning against tobacco uses properly.” Tobacco farmers should be given incentives to help them switch to farming of alternative crops, she added.Among others, Health Education Officer Sazzad Hossain, ACD Programme Officer Shariful Islam and Assistant Teacher of the school Laila Bilkish also spoke.BSS, Rajshahi

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