Youths must be safeguarded from the fangs of tobacco, says the anti-tobacco alliance
Progga has said that the younger generation must be safeguarded against the fangs of tobacco in order for Bangladesh to achieve the status of a developed country by 2041.
Observing this year’s International Youth Day, the organization said that the young, if they become addicted to tobacco, cannot contribute to achieving that position for the country.
As many as 126,000 lives are lost in Bangladesh each year because of diseases related to tobacco use, said a press release issued by the anti-tobacco alliance on Wednesday.
“International Youth Day is very significant for youth development in Bangladesh. Currently, 49% of the country’s population are the young.
“The country’s future depends on their skills and capabilities. Nevertheless, this potential youth population might become a burden for the country instead of becoming assets due to tobacco addiction,” the release added.
“According to the latest information by Tobacco Atlas, the number of tobacco users between the ages of 10 and 14 in Bangladesh is 172,000.
Alarmingly, such a ratio of tobacco users in Bangladesh is 1.86% more than in other mid-level countries in the Human Development Index. According to the US Surgeon General Report 2014, nearly 90% of adult smokers begin smoking by age 18,” it said.
“Smoking at such an early age reduces the efficiency of the lungs and hampers the rate of growth of lungs over the years.
“Among young people, the short-term health consequences of tobacco use include respiratory and non-respiratory effects. Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, emotional or psychological distress,” it added.
The anti-tobacco organization also made recommendations regarding the implementation of tobacco control laws such as printing GHWs on tobacco packs/containers lawfully, banning all events sponsored/arranged by the tobacco industry at educational institutions, and amending the law to ban point-of-sale product display to prevent the promotion of tobacco products and eliminate “designated smoking areas” in public places and transportations.
“The tobacco industry fills up their loss of consumers by targeting children, teenagers and the youth. Tobacco and related industries use several manipulation tactics targeting the youth.
“Introduction of sleek designs, innovative and flavored tobacco products, product placement of tobacco products in movies, TV shows, and online streaming shows, celebrity/influencer sponsorships and brand-sponsored contests to promote tobacco and nicotine products, event sponsorship, making tobacco products available near educational institutions are some of the cunning methods through which tobacco companies make themselves visible and appeal to potential young customers,” it said.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco companies spend yearly $90 million to attract teenagers and youth and transform them into future loyal customers,” it stated.