Friday, 25 May 2018
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Call to increase taxes on tobacco products

Abrar Hussain: Tobacco control activists in the capital yesterday have called for imposing higher taxes on tobacco products.At a meeting titled “Imposing Specific Excise Taxes on All Tobacco Products”, organized by the Association for Community Development (ACD) at its conference hall, activists demanded the formulation of an updated tax policy on tobacco products to significantly reduce consumption, reports BSS.Fazley Hossain Badsha, MP, the general Secretary of Workers Party of Bangladesh, addressed the meeting as the chief guest with ACD President Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan in the chair.Badsha emphasized that for the sake of public health, the existing violation of the amended tobacco control law should be fought against.He advised bolstering the number of mobile courts both in rural and urban areas, including some public places like railway stations, bus terminals and amusement areas, to make them smoking-free.Other options discussed were: abolishment of various levels of tobacco tax, imposing two% surcharge on tobacco products, adjustment of specific amount of excise tax on tobacco products every year. Citing the latest survey on tobacco usage, Project Coordinator of ACD Ehsanul Amin Emon said around one lakh people in Bangladesh are dying annually from tobacco-related diseases.Editor of Daily Sonali Sangbad Liakat Ali, Ward Councilor of Rajshashi City Corporation Md Kamruzzaman, ACD Executive Director Salima Sarwar and journalists Md Anisuzzaman, Sharif Suman, Sohel Mahbub and Subrata Das also spoke.

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