Thousands of Student take Oath Demanding Tobacco-Free Bangladesh
Nearly thousands of students have taken oath to achieve tobacco-free Bangladesh. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Bangladesh Shishu Academy auditorium on Tuesday, May 31, at a discussion titled ‘Tobacco: A Threat to the Environment’ organized by the Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing. The students also demanded to ensure 100% smoke free environment by banning restaurant smoking zone.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nesa Indira MP was present as the chief guest at the discussion meeting which was held in the presence of thousands of students from different schools, colleges, girl guides and scouts. Distinguished academician and fiction writer prof. dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Vice Chancellor of the National University Prof. Dr. Md. Mashiur Rahman and World Health Organization (WHO) Bangladesh Representative Dr. Vardhan Jang Rana were present as special guest. . Chairman of the Parliamentary Forum, Prof. Md. Habibe Millat MP presided over the meeting.
Through the oath, students pledge to ensure a smoke-free environment and keep themselves free from the use of all kinds of tobacco products, as well as to discourage others from using tobacco products. Students as well as teachers and guests also took this oath.
Before that, State Minister Fazilatun Nesa Indira MP said, “In our country, women consume more smokeless tobacco products than men. Not only that, the rate of smoking is also increasing among young women. Our women and children are being victimized secondhand smoking in various public places and public transport, such as buses, launches and trains, homes and restaurants. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is raising awareness against tobacco through various trainings on tobacco control.
Special Guest Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Said, ‘There is nothing good in smoking. It is very painful thing. So you should never smoke or use any other tobacco products. The participation of students in the Tobacco-Free Bangladesh Movement is inspiring me. I think it will be possible to make Bangladesh tobacco free with this.’
World Health Organization (WHO) Bangladesh representative Dr Bardan Jung Rana talked about the impact of tobacco in environment and lauded the initiative of Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing.
President of the discussion Prof. Dr. Md. Habibe Millat MP said, ‘There is no alternative to implementing a tobacco-free Bangladesh to build a healthy generation. Controlling tobacco use is important because our children are exposed to secondhand smoke without smoking. Children and women in particular are suffering due to the presence of smoking zones in public places, public transport and restaurants.’
Along with the speakers, Vice-Chancellor of National University Prof. Md. Mashiur Rahman and representatives from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Mostafizur Rahman spoke. The program was conducted by Rafiqul Islam, Director, Shastho Shurokkha Foundation. Officials from various ministries, representatives of anti-tobacco organizations, teachers from various educational institutions, professors, representatives of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Shastho Shurokkha Foundation took part.