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Bangladesh sets "death clock" updating tobacco-related deaths

DHAKA (Reuters) - 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, 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-related illnesses each day, was installed on a busy road near Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's residence and on the way to the national parliament house in the capital Dhaka.

"The Death Clock will be on until the next parliament session which will be in session on January 27," said Taifur Rahman, Advocacy and Media Coordinator in Bangladesh of CTFK.

The aim was to attract the attention of policymakers and win public support. It was unveiled by Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Saturday.

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.

(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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