It is necessary to amend the law to ban the display of tobacco products in the Points of Sale (POSs), sale of tobacco products within 100 metres of the educational institution and loose sale of tobacco products in the POSs, speakers said on Monday.
They made the demand at a virtual discussion meeting titled 'Dissemination of the results of the Scenario of Tobacco Products Display at POSs Survey' organised by the Health Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, a press release said.
The organisation conducted a survey titled 'Big Tobacco Tiny Target Bangladesh' on the strategies that tobacco companies are adopting, especially within 100 yards of educational institutions, to attract students and youth.
Assistant Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Md Mukhlesur Rahman presented the results of the survey.
He said that according to the survey, tobacco products were sold in 90% of the sales outlets within 100 yards of schools and playgrounds and in 82% of the outlets, tobacco products were displayed within the children's sight. 64% of sales outlets display chocolate or candy, toys, sweets or other items along with tobacco products.
On the other hand, the survey conducted by the anti-tobacco organisation BITA and ACD in one of the three major cities of the country (Chattogram, Rajshahi and Rangpur) also showed the display of tobacco products at 84% points of sale. Of them, Rangpur (92%), Chattogram (86%) and Rajshahi (73%).
Secretary of the Health Services Division Md Abdul Mannan as the chief guest said the government enacted laws and regulations on tobacco control and later amended it appropriately.
Currently, the Health Services Division has taken the initiative to amend the law again. In this case, the results of such a survey will help in amending the law. If everyone has willpower and cooperation then we can build a tobacco-free Bangladesh before 2040.
Iqbal Masud, director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Health and WASH Sector; Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury, Joint Secretary and Coordinator of National Tobacco Control Cell, Health Services; Former Chairman of Bangladesh Chemical Industry Corporation, Md Mostafizur Rahman, Secretary General of Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association, M Rezaul Karim Sarkar Robin, Mr Abdul Kaium Talukdar, Vice-Chairman, Bangladesh Dokan Malik Somity; Head of the Department of Epidemiology, National Heart Foundation Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, among others, participated in the meeting.