Presided over by ERF president Sharmeen Rinvy, its general secretary SM Rashidul Islam, Dhaka Ahsania Mission deputy director Mokhlesur Rahman, CTFK Grants manager Abdus Salam Mia, among others, spoke in the event.

Director (research) of Unnayan Shamannay Abdullah Nadvy made the key-note presentation.

They suggested that the price of cigarettes should be increased considering the rise in per capita income and inflation.

They said there is no alternative for raising the price of tobacco products to turn Bangladesh into a tobacco free country by 2041 as announced earlier by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

Nadvi in his key-note presentation said that the current duty structure of cigarettes is complex and it should be more simplified.

He proposed for making the price of every cigarette packet of 10 sticks at the low-tier at Tk 50 from the existing Tk 39 while in the mid-tier, the price of cigarette packets should be Tk 75 from Tk 63. Side by side, Nadvy suggested for raising the price of cigarettes at the high-tier specifically.

“If this proposal is implemented, the revenue of the government will be boosted while the number of smokers will be reduced by 13 lakh. Besides, some nine lakh youths will be discouraged to continue smoking.” he added.

In his welcome address, deputy director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Mokhlesur Rahman said that the government has already announced turning Bangladesh a smoking free country by 2041 and to materialise this, there is no alternative to raising the duty on cigarettes and tobacco products.

CTFK Grants manager Abdus Salama Mia said that it is very much necessary to control the use of tobacco to transform Bangladesh into a developed country. “This will not only help alleviate poverty, but also reduce the cost of the government in addressing the tobacco related diseases.”

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