Vol. 5 Num 357 Tue. May 31, 2005  

World no Tobacco Day Today
'1 dies every 8 seconds due to tobacco-related disease'

One person dies every eight seconds across the world due to tobacco-related diseases, said the president of Manash, an anti-smoking organisation, quoting a report of the World Health Organisation yesterday.

Presenting the data at a press conference in the city, Dr Arup Ratan Chowdhury said death toll from tobacco is more than any other things like war, natural disaster, HIV/Aids and other diseases.

The press conference was organised by Manash at Dhaka Reporters' Unity Auditorium on the eve of the World No Tobacco Day today.

This year the theme of the day is 'Health professionals against tobacco: Action and answers.'

In a written statement, Dr Arup said around 50 lakh people die of diseases caused by tobacco around the world every year.

He said people suffer from 25 deadly diseases including lung cancer and heart diseases due to smoking, and 50 percent of them die in between 25 and 69 years.

Referring to an estimate of the World Bank, Dr Arup said 700 children die due to malnutrition every year across the globe.

"Half of these children's life can be saved if their parents spend 70 percent of the money that they spend for tobacco for their children," he added.

Other speakers at the press conference urged physicians and health workers to quit smoking as common people consider them as model to follow.

Vice-president of Manash and film actress Anjana Sultana, and Organising Secretary Matiur Rahman Talukdar also spoke on the occasion.

Manash has chalked out a three-day programme to mark the World No Tobacco Day.

A discussion will be held at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the National Museum at 11:00am with Information Minister M Shamsul Islam as chief guest.

Tomorrow, a seminar of dentists will be held at the Birdem auditorium.

Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance has also taken up different programmes to observe the day.

The programmes include a discussion at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium at 4:00pm with Health Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain as chief guest.

Earlier in the morning, the minister will lead an anti-smoking procession from the National Press Club to Osmani Memorial Auditorium.