Tobacco-related illnesses and deaths are a growing strain on the economy of Bangladesh, the world’s cheapest market for tobacco products, says a new study.
The Bangladesh Cancer Society revealed its findings on Saturday at Dhaka Club.
Bangladesh leaks $3.6 billion a year from the use of tobacco, which makes up 1.4 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to the study.
Over a million people have suffered premature deaths from diseases induced by the use of tobacco, contributing to 13.5 per cent of the total fatalities in Bangladesh.
The research was conducted with the support of American Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK and the Department of Economics of Dhaka University.
Dr Murad Hassan, the state minister for health, attended the study's launching event.
The minister vowed to make a Bangladesh a tobacco-free nation by 2040, as envisioned by the prime minister.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey last year showed that the number of tobacco users in the country is has been on the decline over the last eight years, according to bdnews24.
Experts, however, warned against complacency citing worldwide examples world that tobacco consumption spiked after an initial decline. They are also concerned by the Japan Tobacco International’s entry into the Bangladeshi market.
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