Sustainable funding is required to ensure overall tobacco control in the country. A delegation of anti-tobacco activists urged this to State Minister of Finance while meeting with him on 8 May 2016 at Agargoan. Activists said that due to tobacco uses, unhealthy food habit and lack of physical activity, non communicable diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes) are increasing rapidly in the South Asian countries. In Bangladesh, about 60% death causes because of NCD. According to a study of ICDDRB, about 6.4 million people become poor for bearing NCD treatment cost. So we need to concentrate on preventive measures. As tobacco is one of the main causes of NCD, the surcharge money collected from these harmful products can be used for prevention of these deadly diseases.
State minister M A Mannan said, Govt. has positive intention for tobacco control in Bangladesh. They will give importance on taxation of tobacco products and implementation of existing tobacco control law. In that context, govt. is aware about the need for continue supply of finance for tobacco control. Minister agreed that, the surcharge money should use in tobacco and NCD control giving priority to prevention system.
In the meeting, there also present Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Advisor, The Union; Aminul Islam Bokul, ED, AID Foundation; Helal Ahmed, Acting Coordinator, Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliances; Syeda Anonna Rahman, Program Manager, WBB Trust. They said, tobacco and NCD control has been marked as important target to achieve the goal of SDG and 7th Five Year Plan. In continuation, our Prime Minister also expressed optimism to use the surcharge money in tobacco control. They request him to take lead in tobacco and NCD control through 1% health development surcharge collected from tobacco products to strengthen the prevention system. They also recommend to impose higher taxes on tobacco products in the next budget.