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Journalists urge speedy approval of the revised draft of the Tobacco Control Act

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Recently the Ministry of Health drafted a further amendment to the Tobacco Control Act 2005. Journalists from leading media houses of the country expressed their opinion in favor of the quick passing of this draft law amendment.
On September 7 at 12 noon, the journalists made this comment in an exchange meeting with Dhaka Ahsania Mission. Under the chairmanship of Iqbal Masud, Director of Health and Wash Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Grants Manager of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh Abdus Salam Miah and Senior Policy Advisor Md. Ataur Rahman addressed the meeting. Md Mukhleshur Rahman, Deputy Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, answered various questions of the journalists. Project coordinator (tobacco Control) of DAM Md. Shariful Islam presented the keynote paper in the meeting moderated by Rezaur Rahman Rizvi, Media Manager of Tobacco Control Project of Dhaka Ahsania Mission.
It was informed in the exchange meeting that non-smoking citizens are suffering from the harm caused by indirect smoking due to the existing ‘Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act 2005’ which allows smoking (Designated Smoking Area) in some public places, restaurants and public transport. It is a serious threat to health. On the other hand, the existing law completely prohibits the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. However, there is no specific ban on the display of tobacco products at the point of sale. And on this occasion, tobacco companies are advertising and promoting tobacco products through the display of their products at the point of sale. For this reason, the Ministry of Health has recently formulated a draft for further revision of the Tobacco Control Act. If this draft is approved, several loopholes of the tobacco control law, including designated smoking areas in public places and public transport and display of tobacco products at sales points, retail sales, e-cigarettes usage and CSR of tobacco companies will be removed and we will have a strong tobacco control law.
Meanwhile, Iqbal Masud said that if the draft that the Ministry of Health has prepared for further revision of the Tobacco Control Act is passed, the number of tobacco users in the country will decrease. As a result, it will be possible to become a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 as announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Md. Ataur Rahman said journalists and media workers have a big role in passing the amended law. If they can mobilize even a policy maker of the government through their writings, that will be a great task too.
Abdus Salam Miah said journalists are the mirror of society. If they play a strong role, we expect the government to pass the draft of the revised Tobacco Control Act soon.
Rashidul Hasan from Daily Star, Ahmad Tofail from Ittefaq, Farhana Nazneen from Observer, Altab Hossain from Jai Jai Dai, Shafiullah Sumon from Bangladesh Television, Rahim Sheikh from Janakantha, Mariom Sejuti from Bhorer Kagoj, Md. Manjurul Islam from Banik Barta, Ahmad Parvez Khan & Anwar Hossain from Bangladesh Post, Monir Zarif from Manabkantha, Sharif Rimon from Channel T-One, etc were present at the meeting.

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