Appropriate enforcement of tobacco control law underscored
10 Septembar 2015, Nirapad News: Speakers at a participatory discussion here on Tuesday
unequivocally called for proper enforcement of the amended tobacco control law to free
the public places and transports from smoking for the sake of making the public health
free from various non-contagious diseases.
They viewed that gross violation of the Tobacco Control Act continues in restricted
areas including public places and transport especially railway stations and bus
terminals threatening public health almost everywhere.
There is no alternative to freeing the transports and public places from smoking to
protect the non-smokers from passive smoking. Frequent and random smoking in these
places affects the non-smokers more than those of the direct smokers, they added.
The observations came at a daylong quarterly project coordination and project management
committee meeting titled “Strengthening Tobacco Control in Rajshahi and Rangpur
divisions” held at the conference hall of Association for Community Development (ACD) in
ACD and Consortium for Smoke Free Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions jointly organized the
discussion in association with Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK) and Bloomberg
Country Director of CTFK Shariful Islam and its Programme Manager Dr Mahfizur Rahman
addressed the programme as focal persons with Salima Sarwar, Executive Director of ACD,
in the chair.
During his keynote presentation, Ehsanul Amin Emon, Project Coordinator of ACD, said
around 57,000 people die and nearly 12 lakh people become disabled every year in the
country due to tobacco-related diseases.
He alleged that tobacco companies are expanding their market promotional activities in
the name of corporate social responsibilities, which must be resisted.
Tactical marketing maneuvering by tobacco companies inducing youngsters as new smokers
defying and bypassing restrictive law is advancing unabated in Rajshahi and its adjacent
areas, he added.
The discussants urged authorities concerned to raise tax on tobacco to curb its
widespread use. They also demanded the inclusion of pictorial images on cigarette
packets to discourage smoking.
Besides, coordination among the key stakeholders, awareness building and capacity
development, law enforcement particularly mobile court operation could be vital
strategies for effective implementation of the law, they added.
Taking part in the open discussion some other participating development activists and
stakeholders said all concerned especially the retailers and other vendors concerned
should abide by the law of tobacco control to protect the public health from bad effects
of both smoke and smokeless tobacco products.