Former Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman has asked for making the tobacco control law tougher by bringing necessary changes to it in order to curb the use of tobacco in the country.
He placed six proposals in this regard, which include cancellation of the provision of "designated smoking areas" in all public places and public transport, a ban on the display of tobacco products at points of sale, a ban on the scope of CSR activities by tobacco companies, an increase in the area of tobacco product packages to be covered by pictorial warning messages, a ban on the sale of single stick cigarettes/ bidis, and unpacked smoke-less tobacco products, and a ban on e-cigarettes.
Atiur was making the keynote presentation at a discussion organised by Unnayan Shamannay at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro auditorium in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Md Faridul Haque Khan, state minister for religious affairs who attended the programme as chief guest, endorsed Atiur Rahman's suggestions and said, "To save the country from the curse of tobacco, the tobacco control act must be further strengthened."
"When the honourable prime minister announced ridding the country of tobacco by 2040, she clearly pointed out the need for strengthening the tobacco control act along with overhauling the tax structure for tobacco products."
Addressing the event as a special guest, Shirin Akther, general secretary of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and a member of parliament, emphasised building public awareness about the need for further strengthening the tobacco control law.
Awami League lawmaker from a reserved seat for women in Parliament Aroma Dutta urged all including the lawmakers to consider the safety of public health and work in a coordinated manner to come up with a strong and appropriate tobacco control law.