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Decision soon on tobacco to protect public health: NTCC

Published : 17 Jul 2021 09:40 PM

Hossain Ali Khandaker, coordinator (additional secretary) of the National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) said that decisions will be taken soon to rid the country of tobacco and protect public health by 2040. 

He further shared that a decision has been made to amend the law.

Hossain Ali Khandaker made the comments at the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute on Saturday.

Speaking as the chief guest at the meeting, he said that in order to gift the future generation, a tobacco free Bangladesh to by 2040, the law should be amended very soon and the national tobacco control program should be finalized.

At the meeting, the activists of the anti-tobacco organization argued in favor of amending the tobacco control law. They stated that the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is largely in line with the FCTC; however, there are weaknesses in some areas. 

As a result, the main purpose of the law is being thwarted. Therefore, in order to strengthen tobacco control, it is necessary to amend the existing tobacco control laws as soon as possible.

Professor Sohail Reza Chowdhury, Head of the Department of Pathology and Research, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, addressed the meeting.

He said that more than 126,000 people die of various tobacco-related diseases in Bangladesh every year. It is possible to prevent this premature death and financial loss by reducing tobacco use. Therefore, he emphasized on strengthening the tobacco control law by amending it.

The current tobacco control laws that need to be amended include: 100% ban on tobacco use in all public transport and public places, ban on display of tobacco products in stores, ban on CSR of tobacco companies, ban on import, production, sale and use of e-cigarettes, Determining the size of packaging of tobacco products and prohibiting the retail sale of tobacco products.

Hasan Shahriar, Coordinator, Tobacco Control Program for Knowledge and Wisdom for Progress, Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Adviser, CTFK Bangladesh among others spoke at the meeting.