Today marks No Tobacco Day around the world.
Samakal || Shining BD
The theme for Wednesday's World No Tobacco Day-2023 celebrations around the globe is "Grow food, not tobacco."
Numerous anti-tobacco organizations have planned events to commemorate the day.
Both the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Mohammed Shahabuddin issued separate messages on Tuesday wishing all the events on the day success.
"Agricultural land suitable for food production is decreasing due to various reasons, including ever-growing global population and urbanization," the President stated in his message on the occasion.
On the other hand, the head of state added, a number of issues, such as climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war, are negatively affecting food production.
He emphasized that in such a situation, the necessary steps must be taken to cultivate food grains in all agricultural lands in order to ensure food security.
He continued, "That is why it is important to grow food grains instead of harmful drugs and tobacco on agricultural land that produces food.
He emphasized the importance of motivating the concerned farmers by offering the essential technical assistance to expand the cultivation of sustainable and nourishing crops.
According to the president, reducing tobacco cultivation will hasten the process of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, taking into account the multifaceted negative effects of tobacco.
Both tobacco production and consumption must be decreased for Bangladesh to be tobacco-free, he added.
The proper enforcement and implementation of current tobacco control laws, as well as any necessary amendments, should be ensured concurrently, according to Shahabuddin.
The president went on to say, "I call upon the civil society, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the media to make coordinated efforts in this regard.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created the "Framework Convention on Tobacco Control" (FCTC) to lessen tobacco use, according to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's message.
The Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act was passed in Bangladesh in 2005 and amended in 2013 in response to the FCTC, the premier continued.
She said that because tobacco posed a threat to development, the UN created the "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs), which also included effective FCTC implementation and the management of non-communicable diseases.
She added that the government, which is led by the Awami League, has mentioned tobacco control in its seventh and eighth five-year plans for achieving the SDGs. After all, at the South Asian Speaker's Summit in 2016, the government declared that Bangladesh would be tobacco-free by 2040.
Our government is working tirelessly toward that goal, she said.
The possibility of a world food crisis has emerged in light of global warming and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the premier said, adding that in this scenario, anyone with fallow land should cultivate it to increase food production.
She urged everyone to avoid the harmful addiction of smoking and tobacco in order to maintain good health.
By 2040, Insha Allah, the premier hoped, "I hope we will be able to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh through raising public awareness and the practical role of stakeholders."