Youth leaders’ express solidarity towards demand for increasing tobacco tax

Tobacco and tobacco products use is a big obstacle for development of the public health as well as the country. It is one of the major causes of preventable death in Bangladesh. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2009), 43% adults consume tobacco products. Each year 1, 60,000 people died (IHME-2016) and 382,000 become disabled due to tobacco related disease. So, one of the most important strategies of tobacco control is to increase the tobacco price through imposing high tax and take out mass people beyond purchasing capacity. On this point of view Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) organized an event, “Youth leaders’ Solidarity towards demand for increasing tobacco tax” in front of National Press Club, Topkhana Road today 20 May 2018 with the theme” Chaile Unnayan Jonosasther, Chaile Desher Somriddi, Korte Hobe Tamakjat Sob Drobber Kor Briddhi”.

More than hundred Scout Leaders, doctors, other professionals, journalists and different NGO representatives participated in this event and expressed their solidarity towards demand for increasing tobacco tax through raising their hands. During the event, they also held different festoons and placards containing demand for tobacco tax.

For increasing tobacco tax, the participants placed some specific demands including eliminate the cigarette’s 04 price slabs-based (low-domestic, low-international, high & premium) tax system and fixing 02 price slabs for cigarette (low & high), removing filter and non filter tier in Bidi, removing X-factory price system for Jarda-Gul and impose a specific excise tax on all tobacco products, Increase health development surcharge from 1% to 2% and Formulization of an effective tax policy immediately instead of existing tobacco tax structure.

Among others, the scout leader, AID Foundation Executive Director, Aminul Islam Bakul, Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids Program Officer, Ataur Rahman Masud, Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids Digital Media Manager (Bangladesh), Riasat Razi, NATAB Project Coordinator, A.K.M. Khalilullah, DBB Trust Network Officer, Shuvo Kormokar, TABINAJ Assistant Research Officer, Rasehdujjaman, National Heart Foundation Representative, Dr.Shamim Jubaiyer, Lio 315 A-2 District Zonal Director and DAM Assistant Director and Project Coordinator Tobacco control Project of DAM, Md Mukhlesur Rahman were also present in the program. After the solidarity event, all participants had given a memorandum to the NBR Chairman, to emphasize on tax increase in tobacco products