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Strong tobacco control law recommended for a tobacco-free Bangladesh: study

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 7th December, 2021 07:57:57 PM
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Strong tobacco control law recommended for a tobacco-free Bangladesh: study

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Strong tobacco control law is needed through amending the current law, for a tobacco-free Bangladesh as the existing tobacco control law lacks some of the major provisions from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), said a study.

Such findings have come up in a study, titled ‘Tobacco Control Laws in Bangladesh: Analysis of Gaps and Proposed Reforms’, conducted by the Department of Law of Dhaka International University, with support from Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK).

The findings were unveiled at a function on Tuesday at the CIRDAP International Conference Centre in the capital.

The study also said the law contains provisions for smoking zones in public places and public transport, display of tobacco products at the points-of-sales and falls short of completely banning tobacco companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

“These loopholes prevent the tobacco control law from playing a strong role in achieving a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040, as announced by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.  Besides, an amendment of the law is a must to make it stronger and time-fitting and to reach the highest global standards,” it added.

Former Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. A.F.M. Ruhal Haque MP was present as chief guest while Kazi Zebunnessa Begum, Additional Secretary (WHO Wing) at Health Services Division, Hossain Ali Khondoker, Additional Secretary and Coordinator of National Tobacco Control Cell and Vandana Shah, Regional Director of South Asia Programs at Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) were special guests.

Prof. Dr. Ganesh Chandra Saha, the acting Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka International University (DIU) chaired the programme while Shameem Haider Patwary, President of Tobacco Control and Research Cell at Dhaka International University presented the study findings.

Dr. A.F.M. Ruhul Haque  said the study will be helpful for the policymakers in their attempts to amend the tobacco control law.

Kazi Zebunnessa said it is urgent to amend the tobacco control law to make it more time-befitting. “We are already working to amend this law. I hope we will soon be able to finalize the draft of the amendment of the tobacco control law.”

 Vandana Shah said, the information and evidence from local and global contexts gathered in the study will help the Ministry of health to formulate a more FCTC-compliant and stronger tobacco control law.