Strict measures will be taken to control tobacco use in order to implement the prime minister's announcement of building a tobacco-free country by 2040, says Health Minister Zahid Malik.
He said this during a meeting with a team of delegates from PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), a research and advocacy organisation, and the Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) on Monday.
The team met the health minister to discuss the need to amend the Tobacco Control Act and the steps to be taken in this regard, read a press release.
Amendments will soon be made to the Tobacco Control Act to ensure the existing law is up-to-date, said Zahid Malik.
Prominent Journalist Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, ATMA's Convener Mortuza Haider Liton, Co-convener Mizan Chowdhury, Bangla Tribune's Business In-charge Md Shafiqul Islam, and PROGGA's Tobacco Control Programme Head Md Hasan Shahriar talked to the health minister at the meeting.
During the discussion, they proposed to include the following suggestions in the amendment.
The proposals are:
- Ensuring a 100% smoke-free environment by banning smoking in all public places, workplaces and public transport – including the abolition of designated places for smoking
- Prohibiting the display of tobacco products at selling points
- Banning tobacco companies' social responsibility programmes
- Prohibiting the retail sale of bidi-cigarettes and unpacked jorda-gul
- Banning the import and sale of emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTP)
- Imposing strict restrictions on the packaging of tobacco products, including increasing the size of illustrated health warnings
In order to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowed to amend the Tobacco Control Act in light of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2016.