They also called for measures against ‘illegal advertisements’ of tobacco companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anti-drug organization, Prottasha, on Saturday asked the government to take urgent measures to ban e-cigarettes.
According to a press release, Prottasha members also called for measures against 'illegal advertisements' of tobacco companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. They made the demands while attending an anti-smoking umbrella rally in front of the National Press Club.
The rally was jointly organized by Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC), Dhaka International University, and Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Union, following National Tobacco Free Day, observed on 9 October.
This year, the National Tobacco Free Day theme is 'Resist tobacco companies' interference in successful public health policies.'
Speaking about the theme, Ananya Rahman, a Prottasha member said "Under the current circumstances, specific guidelines should be made in light of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Also, it is important to formulate a code of conduct on how government officials and employees should treat tobacco companies."
Expressing concern, another member, Farzana Liza, said the increase in the use of e-cigarettes among teens across the country is alarming.
"Although smokers use this device as a means to quit smoking, it is turning into a new kind of addiction," she said.
Reiterating Liza's concerns, another member, Russel Ahmed said, the vapor of e-cigarettes also spreads aerosol-like ultrafine into the air, which, causes a lung ailment when inhaled, and takes a while to exit the lungs.
Meanwhile, Helal Ahmed, general secretary of Prottasha, said the deception of tobacco companies has not stopped during the Covid-19 crisis.
"They are continuing to promote themselves by planting saplings, distributing hand sanitizers, masks and PPEs to several government organizations under the guise of so-called corporate social responsibility," he added.
"Most of the tobacco companies are violating the existing tobacco control laws to make the country's youths addicted to tobacco," he alleged.