School students being addicted with smoking alarmingly

| Monday, December 26, 2016, 8:03 am

Despite health warning on packets of tobacco products school students both in rural and urban areas are being addicted with smoking here alarmingly creating grave concern among the guardians in general.

Monwaruzzaman, a school teacher, said addiction to smoking is now become a social disease. “At least 15 percent of a school is now addicted to smoking,” he added Lutfor Rahman, a teacher of MRK High School in Paba Upazila, said some of their students were addicted to smoking. “We have launched anti-smoking campaign among the students,” he mentioned.

“We witness schoolboys and juveniles smoking randomly in public places creating odd-looking and embarrassing situation too many surrounding people,” Said ATM Rafiqul Islam, a high official in Rajshahi city.

Frequent smoking at public places including railway stations, markets and other amusement areas has been posing a serious threat to the public health.

Mr Rafique says the sellers and buyers don’t comply with the tobacco control law and are polluting the surrounding environment besides annoying the non-smokers. The incidence of hitching and altercation between the smokers and non-smokers is on the rise in the city.

Dr Mahbubur Rahman Khan, Medicine Specialist of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, said the smoking causes multidimensional harms like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, problems in respiratory and nervous system to the human body.

“We have law to discourage the students from smoking but unfortunately its enforcement is almost absent,” said Advocate Abdus Samad, local unit coordinator of BLAST, while talking to BSS.

Salima Sarwer, Executive Director of Association for community Development (ACD), says tobacco use has become a grievous concern for the whole society as 15 to 20 percent percent of the younger generations, aged between 13 and 15 years, have been consuming tobacco products and the trend increases consistently.

She expressed her grave concern over gross violation of tobacco control law in the region and urged the authorities to take punitive measures to resist the violation.

Terming the tobacco as the root cause of all the life-decaying drug addictions, she called for preventing the adolescents from smoking leading to its destructive consequences. So, time has come to prohibit them from smoking.

In the society, many of the parents face embarrassing situation with their addicted offspring’s and are being compelled to hand them over to police or rehabilitation center for their rectification,” said Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahaan, Pro-VC of Rajshahi University.

He called for a comprehensive policy involving social, fiscal, administrative, legislative and enforcement-related issues to reduce tobacco consumption among the teenagers.

“We also need to forge social movement against tobacco and build people’s awareness substantially,” he added.

Prof Chowdhury said the school students must be restricted from using any tobacco products. He said the government should impose high tax on tobacco products to rein in soaring consumption of the harmful products for the sake of sound public health and the young generation in particular.

He said the number of users is increasing with the rise in population. “But we are not campaigning against tobacco uses properly.”