In order to protect public health, the Prime Minister has pledged to amend the Tobacco Control Law to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. Taking this announcement of the Prime Minister into consideration, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is working to strengthen the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, 2005 (Amended in 2013).
In this context, on Tuesday, the non-governmental development organization Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) organized an orientation program for the civil society and marginalized communities in Kaliganj upazila of Gazipur under the TC Law project.
Various aspects of the project were highlighted in the orientation program at Kaliganj Upazila Parishad conference room. In the brief scope of the program, the future action plan of the project was drafted in the upazila.
In order to strengthen the existing tobacco control laws and make them compatible with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the draft proposed by the Ministry of Health includes the elimination of designated smoking areas in all public places and public transport for the protection of non-smoker, ban the promotion of tobacco products at the point of sale, ban the corporate social responsibility activities of tobacco companies, ban the import, manufacture, use and marketing of e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products, ban loose selling of tobacco products and increased pictorial health warning size from 50% to 90%.
Kaliganj Press Club President Md. Ayub Ali presided over the programme while Kaliganj Upazila NGO affairs representative Md Kamrul Islam was present as special guest. DORP Kaliganj Mothers’ Parliament Speaker Jannatun Begum was the chief guest in the orientation program.
Abdus Salam Mia, Programs Manager, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Bangladesh while speaking at the event said, “Now is the time to declare war on tobacco. We all need to do our part to strengthen tobacco control law.”
It is to be noted that in the event, members of civil society, media workers, members of DORP Mothers’ Parliament and the DORP youth forum participated in a spontaneous discussion on the strengthening of the Tobacco Control Law and urged the Ministry of Health to take necessary steps in this regard.
DORP has been involved in various development programs since 1987 and is best known for introducing maternity allowance. In line with this, DORP is currently working on tobacco control law and increasing tobacco taxes and implementing various projects to achieve the government's sustainable development goals.