PM Hasina hopes to make Bangladesh tobacco free within 2040

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hopes it will be possible to make Bangladesh a tobacco-free country within the next 25 years in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a healthy nation.

Published : 31 Jan 2016, 04:43 PM
Updated : 31 Jan 2016, 04:43 PM

She was speaking in Dhaka on Sunday at the South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving SDGs.

The prime minister announced that ‘all sorts of steps’ would be taken to implement the tobacco control laws.

She said the laws would be amended to make them consistent with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The third SDG – to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages – will not be achieved without FCTC, she said.

“Tobacco is a hindrance to reach the other SDGs,” Hasina said.

“Although we have made notable progress in tobacco control, we are not complacent,” she said.

“We have to do more to fully comply with the FCTC and to reduce tobacco use substantially in Bangladesh, making our beloved country tobacco free by 2040,” she added.

In India and Bangladesh alone, tobacco kills over 1.1 million people annually based on conservative estimates, according to her.

The prime minister informed the participants about her government’s efforts to control tobacco.

She also said Bangladesh’s surprising success in achieving MDGs will encourage the country to take up a lead role by setting examples again in the case of SDGs.

“In our journey, no one will be left behind as we aspire to build a just, progressive, peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh,” she said.

Those present at the conference included Inter-Parliamentary Union President Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury,Sri Lanka Parliament Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, Afghanistan House of the People Speaker Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi, Bhutan National Assembly Speaker Jigme Zangpo, the Maldives parliament (Majlis) Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, and India House of the People (Lok Sabha) Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.