Youths and bidi workers of Tangail held a kite festival demanding speedy passage of the amended draft of the Tobacco Control Act to implement making Bangladesh tobacco-free before 2040 as announced by the prime minister.
Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) organised the event. Md Sanwar Hossain, member of parliament of Tangail-5 constituency was present as the chief guest.
Tangail Deputy Commissioner Jasim Uddin Haider inaugurated the event, presided over by freedom fighter Md. Azhar Ali Talukder, former secretary and executive advisor, DORP.
Six amendments that are included in the revised Tobacco Control Act were presented by Rubina Islam, coordinator of the Tobacco Control Program of DROP.
These are (1) Abolishing designated smoking areas in all public places and public transport (2) Banning of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities by tobacco companies (3) Banning of display of tobacco products at points of sale (4) Banning import, production, consumption and marketing of e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products, (5) Banning loose selling of all types of tobacco products and (6) Increase the size of graphic health warnings on tobacco products from 50% to 90%.
Sanwar Hossain said, "In the Cox's Bazar Conference on Tobacco Control Act organised by the Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing, 42 MPs attended and agreed to amend the Act. Later, 169 MPs expressed their opinion in favour of the law in a public opinion poll."
Deputy Commissioner of Tangail Jasim Uddin Haider said, "Tobacco use is a serious health risk. There is no justification for this, so if the law is passed as soon as possible, many lives can be saved."
Lauding the proposed amendments, he said, "I believe that the positive amendments made in the draft Tobacco Control Act will soon make the promise of a tobacco-free Bangladesh a reality."
After the inauguration and discussion programme, the visiting guests and local people participated in the kite festival.