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Demand for Speedy Pass of the Revised Tobacco Control Act

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An average of 442 people die every day in Bangladesh due to tobacco use. To prevent this death and to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh by the year of 2040 announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the revised draft of the Tobacco Control Act must be passed very quickly. The longer the amendment of the law is delayed, the more these deaths will continue to increase, and the Prime Minister’s vision of a tobacco-free Bangladesh will also be hampered.

Speakers expressed this opinion at a press conference on Monday (July 31) at the National Press Club, organized by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission, to demand the speedy passage of the amended Tobacco Control Act.

Md. Shariful Islam, Coordinator of Tobacco Control Project read the keynote at the press conference while Iqbal Masud, Director of Health and WASH Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission moderated the event. He said by the keynote, in the revised draft of the Tobacco Control Act proposed by the Ministry of Health, designated smoking areas are abolished, the display of tobacco products is prohibited at the point of sale, retail sale of bidi-cigarettes is banned, e-cigarettes are banned, CSR activities of tobacco companies are also banned and the warning on cigarette packets is proposed to be increased from 50 to 90 percent has been done which will make the law more stringent. As a result, tobacco-related deaths will decrease, public health will improve and the progress towards a tobacco-free Bangladesh as announced by the Prime Minister will be accelerated. That is why the speakers at the conference raised a strong demand for the speedy passage of the amended law.

In the speech of the chief guest Prof. Dr. Md. Abdul Aziz, MP, and the member of the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that about three crore people are indirectly affected by secondhand smoking. These people don’t even know that they are being harmed even if they don’t smoke. Recently, young people are getting addicted to e-cigarettes. 42 countries of the world including India have banned it. The Act has been drafted for this purpose. Hope the law will be passed soon.

He also said, “I think the revised Tobacco Control Act will serve as a milestone in the creation of a tobacco-free Bangladesh by the Honorable Prime Minister. We will definitely take the initiative to get the law passed in the parliament quickly.

Member of Parliament Sherin Ahmed believed that banning the retail sale of e-cigarettes and bidi-cigarettes will have a positive impact on the health of young people. She wants the law to be passed as soon as possible.

Eminent journalist Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul said, if this law is strengthened through quick passage, on the one hand, non-smokers will get protection from the harm of indirect smoking. On the other hand, it will be possible to significantly reduce the possibility of the next generation of citizens using tobacco products. On the other hand, it would be possible to prevent 442 deaths per day due to tobacco. Besides, he advised the media workers to play a leading role to bring to everyone’s attention what stage we are currently in to create a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.

In addition to media workers, Programs Manager of  Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) Md. Abdus Salam Miah, Communication Manager Humaira Sultana and other leaders of anti-tobacco organizations were also present at the event.

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