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Call for Code of Conduct to Prevent Influence of Tobacco Companies

Directorate General of Medical Education (DGME), Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco AllianceThe Union & Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust organized a meeting titled 'Formulation of Code of Conduct for Implementation of FCTC Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization' on November 30, 2020 at the meeting room of DGME, Mohakhali, Dhaka.


Professor Dr. AHM Enayet Hossain (DG, DGME) Presided over the meeting. He said The Department of Medical Education will take effective initiatives to control tobacco in compliance with the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control-FCTC, and the implementation of the ‘Tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040’ promised by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

He added that the government is very positive in tobacco control. Tobacco control has been given importance in the multi-sectoral plan of the government to control non-communicable diseases. The Department of Health Education will take effective steps to make the country's tobacco control efforts successful in improving public health.

Prof. Dr. AKM Amirul Morshed Khasru (AD, Admin, ME), Shafiqul Islam (Head of Programs, Vital Strategies-Bangladesh), Dr. Syed Mahfuzul Haque (National Professional Officer, WHO- Bangladesh), Gaous Pearee (Director, WBB Trust) gave a speech in the meeting. Adv. Syed Mahbubul Alam (TA, The Union) presented the keynote address at the meeting and the meeting was moderated by Syeda Anonna Rahman (Program Manager, WBB Trust).

In his article, Adv. Syed Mahbubul Alam said that tobacco companies have been interfering in the implementation of the country's laws. As well as influencing the country's laws and policies in various ways behind the CSR activities and this is harming the overall public health development. It is necessary to make a code of conduct to prevent all these illegal influences of the tobacco company.

Md. Shafiqul Islam said tobacco is an unnecessary and harmful product. To protect public health, the government must strictly implement tobacco control laws. Besides, the policies should be protected from the influence of the company by amending the tobacco control law.

Dr. Syed Mahfuzul Haque said that tobacco companies influence the policy in various ways. About 6 crore people in the country are using tobacco. To protect this large number of people from the risk of tobacco, each institute has to come forward from their respective positions. The Department of Health Education can set an example for others to follow.

Gaous Pearee said, the tobacco companies are not paying attention to any laws, policies and prohibitions on the promotion of tobacco in Bangladesh. They are campaigning in educational institutions targeting our students. Students will be the victims of this tobacco company’s profit if they do not take any action now from the policy-making stage.

Directors, Line Directors, Deputy Directors of various departments of the Directorate General of Medical Education addressed the meeting. Representatives of different anti-tobacco organization like CTFK-Bangladesh, National Heart Foundation, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Pratyasha Anti-Drug Organization, Aid Foundation, TCRC-DIU, DAS, and Bureau of Economic Research-Dhaka University were also present at the meeting.