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BAT’s promotional program ‘Battle of Mind’ stopped

Avoiding the provision of Smoking and Tobacco Uses (control) act, British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) is conducting innovative promotional activities in the renowned universities of the country. Behind this program so-called program under the name of giving employment to the youth, BATB is promoting aggressive campaign and giving the death stick named cigarette in the hand of potential young generation. Where government is working to make Bangladesh as a 'tobacco-free country’, in that situation the crafty tobacco company BATB is busy in making new smokers. And for this, they have chosen the bright students who are very potential for future. Anti-tobacco organizations has urged for immediate stopping of such activities.

On October 25, anti-tobacco organizations have taken position for stopping of BATB’s ‘Battle of Mind’ program at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). A delegation team of anti-tobacco organizations requested to the university authority to stop such activities of crafty tobacco companies in such a renowned institution like BUET. After being sensitized about tobacco companies’ propaganda, the university authority decided to cancel the program at their premises.

The delegation team led by Helal Ahmed, Secretary General of Prottyasha Anti-Drug Organization and Acting coordinator of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) where representatives from other anti-tobacco organizations including Sayeeda Akhter, Co-coordinator of TABINAJ; Riyasat Razi, Digital Media Manager of Tobacco-free Bangladesh Campaign;  Shuvo Karmokar, Network Officer of WBB Trust; Farzana Zaman Liza, Research Assistant of Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC); Kazi Md. Hasibul Huq, Tobacco Control Officer of AID Foundation; Umme Jannat, Program Officer of Dhaka Ahsania Mission was present.

Note that, every year this company organizes this death marketing competition for brand promotion of their products, to attract young generation to smoking and to influence the policymakers. In the last eleven (2004-2014) year, BATB employed only 71 out of 15 thousand participants in the name of employment creation. However, millions of money have been spent on various promotional activities including roadshow, traveling, entertainment, media promotion during this time. This facts also highlighted in the media.