PRESS RELEASE: Strong tobacco control law is mandatory to protect public health and achieve a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040, announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Members of Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum made the remark at a workshop titled ‘Prioritizing Tobacco Control to the Policy Makers’.
The workshop was organized by National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids at Hotel La Vinci in the capital on Monday.
Dr. Sheikh Md. Mahbubus Sobhan, Registrar (Clinical Research) of the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute presented the keynote. He said that 37.8 million adults in Bangladesh use tobacco. Use of tobacco products is one of the leading causes of heart disease, cancer, chest disease and many other preventable diseases and deaths. More than 161 thousand people are dying of tobacco related diseases every year in the country. Hence the tobacco control law needs to be strengthened to protect the public health from these harms of tobacco.
Mostafizur Rahman, lead policy adviser for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, said various aspects of the country’s existing smoking and tobacco use (control) law are in line with the World Health Organization’s FCTC, but there are weaknesses in some areas. If these loopholes are addressed, the law will be more effective.
Journalists attending the workshop said that six important amendments to the Tobacco Control law should be prioritized to the policy makers. These include banning designated smoking area in all public places and public transport, banning the display of tobacco products in stores, banning the CSR of tobacco companies, banning the import, manufacture, sale and use of e-cigarettes, increasing the size of pictorial health warnings printed on tobacco products and prohibit sales of single stick cigarettes.
President of Bangladesh Health Reporters Forum, Rashed Rabbi said that Health Reporters Forum is constantly working with importance on public health. Members of this forum regularly report on tobacco control. They said they would make policy makers aware of the amendments to the Tobacco Control Act through extensive reporting.
NEWS FROM Mahamud Setu. Media Manager. Anti-tobacco Program. National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh. #