Speakers at a discussion called for adopting a specific policy to prevent the tobacco companies from interfering in the implementation of ‘Tobacco Free Bangladesh’.
Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) and Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust arranged the discussion on ‘Tobacco Companies’ Intervention and the Future of Tobacco Control’ at the office of the WBB Trust at Rayerbazar in the capital on Thursday.
Aminul Islam Bakul, advisor of the Development Activities of Society (DAS), presided over the event, while it was addressed, among others, by Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, technical adviser of the Union, Dipankar Gautam of Daily Manabkantha, Gaous Pearee, director of the WBB Trust, and Sagufta Sultana, director of the Tobacco Control Project at the Aid Foundation.
Syeda Anonna Rahman, programe manager of the WBB Trust, presented the keynote paper at the discussion, while Md Abu Raihan, project officer of the organisation, moderated the event.
The speakers said that it is necessary to withdraw the government’s shares from tobacco companies in order to stop their involvement and influence in formulation of law and policy on tobacco control. They expressed the views that the withdrawal of government secretaries as directors of BAT is needed to control the tobacco use in Bangladesh.
In her keynote, Syeda Anonna Rahman said that formulation of guidelines and code of conduct as per the FCTC is essential to protect the public health and build a tobacco-free Bangladesh.
Representatives from TCRC, BER, NATAB, Aid Foundation, DAS, Grambangla Development Committee, VOICE, Health Protection Foundation, SHIELD, Banchte Skhikho Nari and KHRD, and representatives from media, including Bangladesh Post, Manabkantha, Barta24.com, participated in the programme.