Health experts, physicians and teachers at a discussion meeting on Monday said passive smoking might cause children’s coughing, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and even lung cancer along with physical, social and financial problems.
The parents, teachers and guardians should be responsible to create smoke-free environment for children as well as non-smokers in an attempt to avoid such health risks, they told the discussion on ‘protect your children from the effects of passive smoking’.
National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital and Sanofi Aventis in association with International Union against Cancer organised the discussion at National Press Club in Dhaka to mark World Cancer Day.
This year the theme of the day was ‘health hazards of passive smoking on children’ and the slogan was ‘I love my smoke-free childhood’. The discussants said smokers were not only affecting their own health but also doing harm to other people, including children.
AMM Shariful Islam, director of National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital, said parents and other family members should ensure smoke-free environment for their children at home. ‘Smokers will have to find out themselves the solution on how they can do it for good health for their future generations.’
Eminent artist Mostafa Monwar said the government should impose high tax on tobacco and tobacco products to discourage its business. ‘We always say that children are our future but what actually we do for their betterment?’ There was no playground at many schools and residential areas for children, he said, adding that the people would have to be aware of society’s cancer ‘corruption’ besides the health problems.
A mother at the discussion said parents and guardians should not ask their children to fetch cigarettes from shops, and should not keep cigarette packets at home openly as it arouses children’s curiosity. Parents and guardians should avoid such practice, she added.
The organisations also arranged a prize giving ceremony as some 150 children participated at an art competition held on the Kachi Kanchar Mela premises on February 1. Abid Hasan of Udayan High School got the first prize in Ka category while Salman Ibne Salehin of Little Angels School and Najmon Nahar Mitu of Motijheel Model High School and College got the first prize in Kha and Ga categories respectively.
Source: The Commercial Times