Giving priority to health risks of tobacco uses, the government of Bangladesh imposed 1% surcharge on all tobacco products from 2014-15 fiscal year. For proper management of the money earned from surcharge, National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) initiated and started to prepare a policy under lead of Ministry of Health and Family welfare. But, this policy which was supportive for the promotion of public health, could not be raised in the cabinet for a long time due to various strategies of tobacco companies. Recently, by preventing the fraudulent techniques of tobacco companies, the "Health Development Surcharge Management Policy" has been passed giving emphasis on public health. Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance sincerely thanked Prime Minister for passing the policy.
Speakers said ‘After passing the Surcharge management policy, it’s now time to formulate the National Tobacco Control Program in the country.’ Today on 19 October 2017, anti-tobacco activists expressed this opinion in a human chain program organized to congratulate government for passing the Surcharge Management Policy. Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance organized this program in front of National Press Club. They also said, ‘Passing the Policy is a timely and pragmatic initiative to increase the country's tobacco control activities. It’s a milestone for fulfilling Honorable Prime Minister’s dream of making a 'Tobacco-Free Bangladesh' by 2040. It’s a great achievement for anti-tobacco activists.’ They expressed heartiest thank to Health Department of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, all respected members of the Cabinet, National Tobacco Control Cell, private organizations working in tobacco control and others including media.
Helal Ahmed, Acting coordinator of BATA and Secretary General of Prottyasha anti-drug club presided over the program. Speeches given by Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Advisor of The Union; Ataur Rahman Masud, Program Officer of Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK); Syeda Anonna Rahman, Program Manager of WBB Trust; Dr. Shamim Jubayer, Program Officer of National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh; Abul Hasnat, President of Modern Club; Farhana Zaman Liza, Project Officer of TCRC; Rokeya Begum, member of Tamak Birodhi Nari Jote (TABINAJ); Kazi Hasibul Huq, Documentation Officer of AID Foundation; Liyaquat Ali, General Secretary of Torun Nettritto. Abu Rayhan, Assistant Project Officer of WBB Trust moderated the program. Among others, representatives from other anti-tobacco organizations including HEEL, Katnerpara Mohila Unnayan Shangstha, Banchte Shekho Nari, Institute of Wellbeing, Manobadhikar Shangstha was present in the program.