Hit-not-burn or e-cigarettes are a new weapon to get the young generation addicted; it is necessary to ban them right away to protect the country's youths, said members of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB).
The speakers made the remarks in a discussion meeting organised by Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Health Sector at the e-CAB office in Banani of the capital on Sunday.
The keynote was presented by Shariful Islam, coordinator of the tobacco control project, Dhaka Ahsania Mission. All emerging tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, have been identified by the World Health Organization as harmful to health, speakers noted. E-cigarettes have been cited as "a gateway to using tobacco products," they said.
Sahab Uddin Shipon, vice president of e-CAB, said that tobacco companies use various tactics that are harmful to the public health of the country. Currently, they have started importing and promoting e-cigarettes in the country and are encouraging the youths to use them. Strict measures should be taken to ban e-cigarettes, they were of the view.
E-cigarettes cannot be a way to quit smoking. Rather, it is the beginning of a new addiction, they noted. Therefore, the import of e-cigarettes should be banned, said e-CAB Executive Director Jahangir Alam Shovon.
Barrister Mahfujur Rahman Milan said in his speech that tobacco companies are trying to attract young people by disobeying the Tobacco Control Act by promoting flashy advertisements for e-cigarettes on YouTube, Facebook, websites, and other social media. It is also encouraging people who want to quit smoking to use e-cigarettes instead of traditional cigarettes. To stop the spread of e-cigarettes, strict legislation and strict enforcement of existing laws are necessary now.
Besides, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Programs Manager of Bangladesh, Abdus Salam Miah said that after determining how e-cigarettes are being imported, initiatives should be taken to stop the import.
Member of e-CAB Huraira Shishir; Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Health Sector Deputy Director Mukhelesur Rahman; and Nutritionist Israt Jahan among others attended that seminar.