Protecting youths from negative effects of tobacco use stressed | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Protecting youths from negative effects of tobacco use stressed

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Proper enforcement of the amended tobacco control law has become indispensable to protect the young generation especially adolescents from the negative impacts of tobacco use particularly smoking, experts and others concerned here opined.The government has amended the law to make it more stringent because of growing tobacco use in the country. The main attraction of the landmark law is that it bans all sorts of tobacco advertisements at the point of sale and sponsorships of the industries. The law also bans the selling of cigarettes to those below 18.“Cigarette consumption must be restricted among the adolescents to a greater extent for the sake of building an addiction-free society as smoking is considered as the primary gateway drug that eventually leads to drug-addiction,” said Prof Dr Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan.He said the number of youth-smokers is gradually increasing and this is creating a grave concern among the guardians and conscious section of the society.Selling of tobacco products especially cigarettes to schoolchildren and smoking in public places and transports are taking place frequently. Terming tobacco as the root cause of all the life-decaying drug addictions he called for preventing the school-going adolescents from smoking as it leads to harmful consequences.Prof Chowdhury said some shops have well-designed display showcases with colourful lighting, which have been made for keeping cigarette packets. Some other shops are displaying cigarette packs at the showcases while some shops have kept their showcases empty.All concerned especially the retailers and vendors should abide by the tobacco control law to protect the public health, he added. Quoting various research findings he viewed that more than 43 percent of adults most of them aged between 16 to 23 either smoke or chew tobacco.In the wake of the prevailing situation, time has come to stop advertising and promotion of all tobacco products, and its patronization to protect the future generation from the harmful effects of smoking.To this end, coordination among the key stakeholders, awareness and capacity building and enforcement of law particularly, mobile court vigil could be the vital strategies for effective implementation of the law, he added.
“Many parents face embarrassing situation with their addicted child and are being bound to hand them over to police or rehabilitation center for their rectification,” said Salima Sarwar, Executive Director of Association for Community Development (ACD), adding that the phenomenon has become frequent.She 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,” Salima Sarwar said.BSS, Rajshahi

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