Ex-VC of DU supports push for stronger anti-tobacco law
Publish- October 28, 2020, 10:13 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor Dr A A M S Arefin Siddique has said the current tobacco control law requires some amendment along with some additions to save the people from consuming such a toxic product like tobacco as well as to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He made the call at a view exchange meeting with the delegate from PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), an anti-tobacco research and advocacy organization on Wednesday.
Arefin Siddique said, “I trust that the current tobacco control law requires some amendment along with some additions to save the people from consuming such a toxic product like tobacco as well as to achieve SDG 3. Moreover, during these hard times of COVID-19 outbreak, I acknowledge that it is high time to swiftly take in to consideration the proposals of amendment of relevant laws raised by PROGGA and other tobacco control organizations in order to keep the public health and environment safe and sound.”
He further underscored that “just as the intended targets of any law depend on its stringent implementation, likewise, we need to go forward in rendering timely amendment of the law and its firm implementation.”
PROGGA also urged the government to take immediately strong measures for reducing tobacco use in order to achieve the SDGs as well as a tobacco free Bangladesh by 2040, as declared by the Prime Minister. Because, due to some loopholes in the existing tobacco control law, it fails to reduce tobacco use efficiently.
At the discussion meeting, PROGGA underscored some proposals of amendment in tobacco control law which included--- Removing the exemptions in the smoking ban for restaurants and public transport; Banning the display of tobacco products at points of sale; Banning tobacco company ‘corporate social responsibility’ activities;
It further added, Banning the sale of single sticks and unpackaged smokeless tobacco; Banning the sale and import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products; Allowing for stricter rules on packaging including increases to the size of health warnings; etc.