‘Smoking aggravates vulnerability to coronavirus’
Anti-tobacco bodies demand stopping cigarette manufacturing, sale
Published : Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 374
A group of anti-tobacco organisations on Tuesday condemned the current move of the Ministry of Industry's (Mol) approval to continue operation of manufacturing, leaf purchase, finished good supply, and distribution of tobacco products during nationwide Covid-19 crisis.
Criticising such a move, they said that smoking poses more vulnerability to coronavirus, therefore government should ban selling and manufacturing of tobacco products across the country.
However, the Ministry of Industries (MoI) has very recently sent letters containing instructions on this issue, addressed to all Divisional Commissioners and District Administrators (Deputy Commissioners) after getting a request from United Dhaka Tobacco Company ( A member of the Japan International Group).
A total of 20 anti-tobacco organization (Bangladesh Cancer Society, BCCP, ACD, YPSA, Aid Foundation, Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance, BNTTP, BITA, Grambangla Unnayan Committee, NATAB, Prattashya, TCRC, National Heart Foundation, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, UFAT, TABINAJ, Voice, WBB Trust, Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) and PROGGA) said that the huge portion of population directly or indirectly are victims of tobacco use which is posing serious threat to public health more currently due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
However, earlier the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a commitment to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also expressed concern that smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to frequent hand-mouth contact and also that lung disease or reduced lung capacity due to smoking greatly increases the risk of serious illness.
It should be noted that in Bangladesh, 37.8 million adults use tobacco and 41 million people fall victim to second-hand smoke in their own homes.