Tobacco, drug free society essential to build healthy nation: Hasan


DHAKA, June 16, 2021 (BSS)- Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said tobacco and drug free society is essential to build a healthy nation.

“The ratio of smokers has decreased due to massive social campaign and enactment of law by the government though the number of smokers has not reduced to a large extend for increasing population. Only 35 percent of total population take tobacco which was above 70 percent earlier and it is a good sign,” he said.

The minister stated this while addressing a workshop titled “The need to amend tobacco control act” at an auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the capital.

Law Reporters Forum (LRF) organised the day-long workshop.

Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, said smoking is not allowed in public places like before due to enactment of law by the government. Smoking is also prohibited on airplanes, buses and even in many offices, he added.

The minister said the society will be benefitted if the organisations of journalists come ahead to create social awareness against the tobacco. It is needed to accelerate the anti-tobacco movement to make a tobacco-free nation by 2040, he added.

He said, “We also need to think about amending law, if needed. Tobacco and drug free society is needed to create a healthy nation as just like a smoker destroys himself, a drug addict destroys the whole family. So, the campaign needs to be strengthened.”

Besides, the minister said, presently social media is another modern addiction. “Many people want to take a picture with politicians. In fact, they want to upload the pictures in facebook. I think, it is needed to carry out campaign on this issue also,” he added.

Hasan urged the journalists to make constructive criticisms of all not only the responsible persons or who are in power.

Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) former president Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, DRU president Mursalin Nomani and general secretary Md Mashiur Rahman, researcher on tobacco control Md Mostafizur Rahman, Professor Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Jayed Siddiqui, Hasan Shahriar, Abdus Salam Mia, Ataur Rahman and Sadia Rahman, among others, addressed the function with LRF president Mashhudur Rahman in the chair.

In the afternoon, the minister joined a meeting virtually organised by Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In his speech, Hasan said insurance industry is playing a pivotal role in the country’s economic development. It is needed to expand insurance specially health insurance like other countries, he added.

Bangladesh Insurance Association president Sheikh Kabir Hossain addressed the meeting as special guest with IDRA chairman Dr M Mosharraf Hossain in the chair.