Health Economics Unit and National Tobacco Control Cell of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust jointly organized a seminar on “Importance of increasing tobacco tax for NCD control and reducing tobacco related diseases” at conference hall of HEU on 05 March 2019. Discussion held about how to reduce tobacco uses through increasing tobacco tax, what HEU and NTCC and other related ministries can do regarding the issue.
Dr. Md. Shahdat Hossain Mahmud, Director General of Health Economics Unit presided over the program. Md. Khalilur Rahman, Coordinator of National Tobacco Control Cell; Shafiqul Islam, Country Advisor of Vital Strategies; Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Advisor of The Union; Gaous Pearee, Director of Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust; Md. Kamal Uddin, Executive Director of NATAB gave speech in the program. Dr. Syed Mahfuzul Huq, National Professional Officer of WHO presented Key note speech.
Speakers said, tobacco tax should be increased; a policy specifically on tobacco tax should be initiated. HEU could conduct a research on health cost of tobacco uses and how to minimize, how much tax increase will reduce what percentage of use etc. Also discussed about tobacco industry’s various tactics for making obstacles in tobacco taxation. On behalf of HEU, DG assured to conduct research on harmful effect of tobacco uses and its effect on the economy.
Among others, representatives from different ministries i.e. HEU, Information, Local government, Industry, Financial institution division was present. Also present representatives from AID Foundation, Prottasha Anti-Drug Club, Tobacco Control and Research Cell, CTFK, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, National Heart Foundation, Gram Bangla Unnayan Committee, Supro, Bachte Shikho Nari etc.