Minister: Govt will play leading role in speedy passage of Tobacco Control ActACTA
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her determination to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040 by prioritizing public health
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman has said that the government will play a leading role in favor of the revised draft law of Tobacco Control Act when it will be placed before the cabinet.
He made the statement in a seminar titled “Expectations to policymakers to achieve a tobacco- free Bangladesh before the year 2040” on Wednesday at Cirdap Auditorium in the capital organized by Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her determination to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040 by prioritizing public health.
She has also pledged to amend the Tobacco Control Act in line with the World Health Organizations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken the initiative to modernize the Tobacco Control Act by giving utmost importance to this announcement from the prime minister.
The draft Tobacco Control Law Amendment Committee has been constituted with a view to further strengthening the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act 2005 (amended in 2013).
The final draft is currently under review by the cabinet.
The 6 proposals to strengthen tobacco control laws put forward by DORP are – Abolition of designated smoking areas in all public spaces and public transport, ban on tobacco companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, ban on display of tobacco products at sales points, ban on import, production, consumption, and marketing of e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products and increasing the size of pictorial health warnings on bidi and cigarette packs from 50% to 90%.
In his speech as the chief guest, Dr Md Enamur Rahman said the six proposals attached in the revised draft are very timely and effective.
“All parties will benefit if the law is passed quickly. The revised draft law will play an effective role in reducing tobacco use. This act needs to be passed quickly to make the initiative taken by the prime minister to protect public health successful. I am hopeful that MPs and ministries will play an active role in this regard,” he added.
He assured that there will be a detailed discussion on the amended law in the Cabinet and he expressed hope that everyone will give their opinion in favor of it.
Gaibandha-1 MP Barrister Shamim Haider Patwari said: “I believe that the positive amendments made in the draft Tobacco Control Act will soon make the promise of a tobacco-free Bangladesh a reality.”
Additional Secretary Kazi Zebunnesa Begum said if tobacco cultivation is not stopped, it will be difficult to prevent the use of tobacco products.
National Tobacco Control Cell Coordinator Hossain Ali Khondoker said: “If the government is aware now to avoid the ill effects and health hazards of tobacco, many lives will be saved, especially teenagers and young people. I believe strict enforcement of the law will discourage the consumption of tobacco products at a young age.”
The founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of DORP, AHM Noman, said that the present government has taken some effective steps to prevent the spread of tobacco products and he expressed hope that the revised draft tobacco control law would be passed soon by maintaining that trend.
Source: Dhaka Tribune