Policy to screen out smokers during medical college enrolment soon

মঙ্গলবার, ১২ জানুয়ারী ২০১৬
12 January 2016 Looks like Health Minister Muhammed Nasim’s threat not to allow smokers get admission in medical colleges is no empty rhetoric.

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“The minister has given us instructions to ensure smokers are not admitted to medical colleges,” coordinator of the National Tobacco Control Cell Muhammad Ruhul Quddus told bdnews24.com.

Quddus is a joint secretary to the health ministry.

On the sidelines of a workshop about pictorial health warnings on tobacco packs on Tuesday, he told bdnews24.com that they were trying to come up with a policy to implement the minister's instructions.

“We hope to come up with a policy (in this regard) soon,” he said.

Bangladesh’s more than 120 medical and dental colleges enrol nearly 10,000 students every year.


The government gives a combined admission test for all those government and private medical and dental colleges.

Health Minister Nasim said recently that he would not allow any smokers to get admission in medical colleges from 2016.

He also indicated that a non-smoking certificate would be sought from the aspirants.

Estimates suggest 57,000 people die of tobacco-related illnesses in a year while nearly 300,000 suffer disabilities in Bangladesh, a country where more than 43 percent of the people aged 15 and above consume tobacco in some form.

There are studies that indicate that a sizable number of people start smoking in their teens.

Increasing prices by higher taxation and using pictorial health warning on tobacco packs are some of the effective measures globally suggested to deter new smokers.

However, Bangladesh falls far behind many countries in implementing effective anti-tobacco measures.

Tobacco is still cheaper in Bangladesh compared to many countries in the region.

The new 2013 law kept the provision of printing pictorial health warnings covering 50 percent of the space on tobacco packs. It will take effect on Mar 19, three years after the law was passed.

Anti-tobacco campaigners such as Progga and Anti Tobacco Medical Alliance, however, remain skeptical.

সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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