Category: World / January 15, 2013 9:28 AM EST
Bangladesh unveiled a "Death Clock" in its capital to raise awareness about smoking-related deaths in a country which ranks among the world's highest in tobacco consumption.
Around 57,000 people die annually from tobacco-related diseases in Bangladesh, which is, on average, 156 people per day, said Sayed Badrul Karim from the Progga NGO, which is supported by the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).
The "Death Clock", which keeps a rolling tally of people dying of tobacco each day, was installed on a busy road near the Prime Minister’s home.
The aim was to attract the attention of policymakers and win public support.
"The 'Death Clock' has been established to create awareness among people and policy makers about the importance of tobacco control law amendment, which is in progress. As we are delaying, everyday we are losing about 150 lives due to tobacco-related diseases, so that's what we want to underline, through setting up this 'Death Clock'," Advocacy and Media Coordinator in Bangladesh of CTFK Taifur Rahman said.
An estimated 58 percent of men and 29 percent of women use some form of tobacco in Bangladesh. The country is considering introducing a law to restrict the use of tobacco and increasing taxes on tobacco products.
Rahman said the "Death Clock" will be on until the next parliament session which will be on January 27.
Until then, the “death clock” will update itself.