Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin has said if his ministry can work in unison with the ministries of health and agriculture, tobacco cultivation can be stopped in the country.
“Farmers will require some incentives in that case. Cultivation of rice, wheat and corn should be encouraged in those lands,” he said.
The minister revealed this information while addressing a discussion meeting titled ‘What to do about the harmful effects of tobacco in context of environment and climate change’ at the Ahsania Mission Auditorium in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
Tobacco producers, workers, traders – all admit that tobacco is harmful to people, biodiversity and the environment, and tobacco cultivation should be stopped to save people’s lives, he added.
“Trees are being destroyed due to tobacco. Our afforestation is 17 percent, it should be increased to 24 percent. If we can start working to stop tobacco cultivation from the current year, by 2024, we will achieve complete success,” he said.
Additional Secretary of Health Ministry Kazi Zebunnessa Begum said in her speech as the special guest, nicotine tests should be brought under the scope of government recruitment.
Economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said tobacco destroys the national and family economy.
The family economy is severely affected when a person dies. Their future becomes dark.
While presenting the keynote paper, Director of Health and Wash Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Iqbal Masud said that 12 kgs wood is required to burn one kg of tobacco. And one tree is felled for 300 cigarettes, while 3.7 liters of water is used to produce one stick of cigarette.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) President Kazi Rafiqul Alam presided over the discussion meeting while the Executive Director of the DAM Md. Shajedul Qayyum Dulal gave the welcome speech. Among others, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Bangladesh’s Lead Policy Advisor Md. Mostafizur Rahman and Vice-President of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Kazi Shariful Alam were present at that time.
Health sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) organized the discussion meeting.