According to foreign reports, Bangladesh will join more than a dozen Asian countries, which have banned the sale (possession and use in some cases) of e-cigarettes.
Like most other Asian countries that ban the use of e-cigarettes, Bangladesh made the decision in collaboration with a tobacco control consultant funded by the Bloomberg Charitable Foundation - in this case, the smoke-free children's movement.
The decision was announced at a meeting jointly organized by government health agencies and tobacco free children earlier this week.
According to the announcement, banning e-cigarettes is part of the larger goal of building a smoke-free country promoted by the prime minister. Bangladesh currently has no specific laws relating to e-cigarettes or the sale of e-cigarette products.
Just as India, a neighboring country of Bangladesh, banned the sale of e-cigarette products in 2019, the wide use of related products is very popular. Coupled with the high smoking rate, it will lead to serious diseases.
Nearly 126000 people died in 2018. These are health issues that can be addressed by encouraging the migration to low-risk nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and Swedish snuff.
The 2017 global adult tobacco survey showed that the risk level of tobacco use in the country was shocking.
At present, more than 36% of men smoke and more than 20% of the adult population use so-called smokeless tobacco (unlike smokeless tobacco in North America or Europe, it contains other carcinogenic ingredients, such as betel nut and hydrated lime). However, the government of Bangladesh describes e-cigarettes as the same health threat as smoking.
LokMan Hossain mia, senior secretary of health services, said at the meeting: "the increasing use of an emerging tobacco product called e-cigarettes is shocking. E-cigarettes are as harmful to health as traditional cigarettes," he added.
At the meeting, no one, including the representative of smoke-free children, corrected him on the relative risks of e-cigarettes and smoking.
"We will consider proposals to implement laws banning e-cigarettes," MIA told the audience. The ban will be included in an updated version of Bangladesh's tobacco control act, which the prime minister has announced will include an official goal of tobacco free by 2040.
Since e-cigarette products are not manufactured in Bangladesh, Hossain Ali khandaker, chief policy adviser for tobacco free children, pointed out that they can easily be banned.
He said that now is the right time to ban it by amending the law.
"For many young people, e-cigarettes are a symbol of fashion and nobility," said Iqbal Masoud of the Ministry of communication in Dhaka assania. "Moreover, as young people rely heavily on online shopping, the supply of online tobacco products will encourage them to use e-cigarettes. That's why e-cigarettes should be prohibited by law."
Located between India and Myanmar, Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country in the world, with 163 million residents. It is also the third largest Muslim majority country. Bangladesh became a sovereign state in 1971.