Divisional Commissioner Office- Dhaka, Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance, The Union & Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust jointly organized a meeting titled “Necessity of law implementation to achieve the goal of a tobacco-free Bangladesh” on November 17, 2020 at conference room of the Dhaka Divisional Commissioner's Office.
Speaking as the chief guest in the meeting Jebunnesa Begum (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health Services and Health and Family Welfare), said that a roadmap is being prepared with the cooperation of all to implement the declaration made by the Hon'ble Prime Minister to make Bangladesh tobacco free by 2040. In order to implement the promise of building a tobacco-free Bangladesh promised by the Hon'ble Prime Minister, importance will be given to the implementation of the law to stop the advertisement of tobacco products.
Additional Divisional Commissioner Md. Nurunnabi, Dhaka Divisional Director (Health) Dr. Md. Belal Hossain, Technical Adviser of The Union Adv. Syed Mahbubul Alam and other personalities discussed in the meeting chaired by Md. Mostafizur Rahman (Dhaka Divisional Commissioner). Aminul Islam Sujan (Program Officer, National Tobacco Control Cell) presented the article at the meeting. The meeting was moderated by Syeda Anonna Rahman (Program Manager, WBB Trust).
Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman said that more emphasis needs to be laid on the implementation of the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act considering public health. Implementation of tobacco control laws in different parts of the country has gained a lot of momentum. We have to stop the campaign to stop the horror of tobacco in educational institutions. Dhaka Divisional Commissioner's Office will soon take steps to stop the advertisement of tobacco products.
Kazi Jebunnesa Begum said, a roadmap is being prepared to make the country tobacco free by 2040. In addition to raising awareness to protect future generations, the availability of tobacco needs to be reduced. Tobacco companies are targeting educational institutions. In addition to working more vigorously to stop the advertisement of tobacco products, a conjoint action must be taken at the grassroots level to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh.
Md. Noor Nabi said that tobacco cultivation in the hilly areas is ruining the environment there. It has become an urgency to take steps to stop the sale of tobacco in the vicinity of educational institutions. Besides, in the age of sky culture, it is necessary to stop the promotion of tobacco companies by violating the law on the internet. Dr. Md. Belal Hossain said, there is no benefit of tobacco. Not only health damage, tobacco brings disaster to our environment, agriculture and economy. A concerted effort is needed to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh as announced by the Hon'ble Prime Minister.
Adv. SyedMahbubul Alam said that more than half of the total population of Bangladesh is young. Tobacco companies are targeting these young people to create long-term tobacco consumers by violating the law and launching aggressive campaigns on social media, educational institutions and restaurants. Despite the Government's continuous efforts to implement tobacco control laws, tobacco companies continue to violate the law by encouraging people to use tobacco products. The victims of this profit of the tobacco company are the potential young people of the country and the people of different ages. Strict enforcement and implementation of the Tobacco Control Act is really essential for building a "Tobacco Free Bangladesh".
Helal Ahmed said that task force committees should be mobilized in every district and upazila. These committees play the most important role in monitoring the implementation of grassroots tobacco control laws.
Dr. Md. Aminur Rahman (Additional Divisional Commissioner), Md. Abul Bashar Talukder (Senior SP, Dhaka Range), Md. Rashidul Karim (Assistant Secretary, Information Ministry), Mohammad Mokhlesur Rahman (Assistant Director, Dhaka Ahsania Mission), Sagufta Sultana (Project Director, Tobacco Control, AID Foundation), AKM Khalilullah (Project Manager (NATAB), Tithi Dey (Junior Trainer, Bangladesh Girls Guide Association), Farhana Zaman Liza (Program Manager, TCRC) participated in the open discussion.
The meeting was also attended by various representatives of Dhaka District Administration, Civil Surgeon Office-Dhaka, DMP, Department of Narcotics Control, District Superintendent of Police Office-Dhaka.