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Mannan emphasizes on Tobacco Act amendment

Planning Minister M.A Mannan has said that continuous pressure must be maintained at all levels to amend the Tobacco Control Act.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasian has announced to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040 and we will help her to achieve the target. Our PM is with us. So, we have to work for tobacco control,” he said while addressing at a seminar on ‘Tobacco Control Law Amendment for Making Bangladesh Tobacco-Free by 2040.’

Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing arranged the seminar at CIRDAP in Dhaka on Thursday.

Former health minister Prof. Dr. A.F.M Ruhal Haque was presented as chief guest at the event with chairman of the forum Dr. Md. Habibe Millat MP in the chair.

The planning minister said, “In Bangladesh, 35.3% of adults use some form of tobacco. Due to tobacco-related diseases, 1 lakh 61 thousand people died every year. Realizing the awfulness of tobacco, the Prime Minister has announced to make the country tobacco-free by 2040.”

Ruhal Haque in his speech said, “We are aware of secondhand smoking. Multiple people affect by one smoker. Especially young people and women are facing more problems. We have to implement 90% health warning on the packet of tobacco products.”

He said, “We have all told the Health Minister that we are working against tobacco. Besides that, I would like to tell the Planning Minister that it is important to ban e-cigarettes in our country as well. We all agree with this.”

Earlier, Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary MP focused important side of the tobacco law amendment through his

He placed six issues which include abolition of all ‘Designated Smoking Areas (DSA)’ including public places, public transport, banning the display of tobacco products at the point of sale, banning all tobacco company sponsorships and their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, illustrated health warnings on wraps of tobacco products to be increased more than 90%, ban on selling of retail and the small number of cigarettes or bidis and ban on the sale and imports of all types of heated tobacco including e-cigarettes.

In another presentation, the harmful effects of tobacco and the issue of amending the tobacco law to protect public health was highlighted by the executive director of the Health Protection Foundation and also the secretariat of the forum Dr. Nizam Uddin Ahmed.

Dr. Shamil Uddin Shimul MP, Adv. Syeda Rubina Aktar MP, Aparajita Haque MP, Shabnam Jahan MP and Umme Fatema Nazma Begum MP spoke at the seminar.

Coordinator of NTCC Hosain Ali Khondokar, delegates from ministries, anti-tobacco organizations, and numbers of NGOs and CSOs were present, among others.