Despite the current ‘Smoking And Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005’ prohibits the advertisement and promotion of tobacco products, there is no specific prohibition on the display of tobacco products in point of sales (POS). By using this loophole of the act, the tobacco companies are promoting and expanding tobacco products through product displays in the sales centers. That is why the leaders of the Shop Business Welfare Association (SBWS) demand amendment of the existing tobacco control (TC) law. They made the demand at a joint virtual exchange meeting of the Dhaka Ahsania Mission with the leaders of the Shop Business Welfare Association on the night of September 04, 2021.
President of SBWS, Nazmul Hasan Mahmud chaired the meeting and the general secretary of the organization, Arifur Rahman and Treasurer Al Amin; Abdus Salam Mia, Grants Manager, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh (CTFK); Md. Ataur Rahman Masud, Senior Policy Advisor, CTFK; Md. Mokhlesur Rahman, Assistant Director, Health Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission spoke at the meeting.
Project Coordinator Md. Shariful Islam presented the keynote paper under the moderation of Sharmin Akhter Rini, Program Officer, Tobacco Control Project, Dhaka Ahsania Mission. The key-note paper addressed some evidence and findings of the ill-tactics of tobacco companies to attract youth to using tobacco products.
Md. Mokhlesur Rahman, Assistant Director, Health Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, said that the use of tobacco products increases health risks. Adolescents and youths are being attracted when tobacco products are displayed at the point of sales. Therefore, I believe that the use of tobacco will be greatly reduced if the display of tobacco products and the sale of single-stick cigarettes or bidis are stopped. And for this, I am also demanding the necessary amendment of the current TC law.
General Secretary of Shop Business Welfare Association Arifur Rahman said, “We have taken many initiatives to stop the display and sale of tobacco products in different markets of the country.” In many cases, it has been successful. We will continue our initiative to stop the display and sales of tobacco products in the markets in the future as well.
President of Shop Business Welfare Association Nazmul Hasan Mahmud said, “I am demanding the government to ban the display and retail sale of tobacco products on the point of sales by amending the current tobacco control law to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 announced by Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”