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Tobacco companies are disrupting government efforts to control tobacco
Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance has applauded the authorities for declaring the fair premises smoke-free by the book fair organizing committee. To protect the public from the direct and indirect harm of tobacco, the Ministry of Health has taken initiatives to strengthen the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, 2005 by amending it. But the tobacco companies are creating obstacles to change the law through various misleading campaigns. Keeping tobacco control laws free of corporate influence in improving public health
In light of the importance of the issue, a position program entitled "Let the tobacco control law amendment process be kept free from the influence of companies" was organized by Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance and organizations working on tobacco control at the book fair premises today at 13 February 2023 at 4 pm.
It was called from the position program that it is necessary to keep the policies supporting tobacco control free from the influence of tobacco companies in order to implement the strong conviction of the Honorable Prime Minister to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 for the development of public health. But unfortunately, the companies have been creating obstacles in the formulation of policies that are helpful in protecting public health for a long time by taking advantage of the government's shares in the tobacco companies. Smoking areas are being built in restaurants, one of the main meeting places for young people in various cities including Dhaka. Where the sign/logo of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) is seen which is a clear violation of the law. This is a deliberate ploy by them to encourage the youth of the country to smoke. To overcome this situation, it is necessary to withdraw the existing shares of the government in tobacco companies that produce products harmful to public health.
Organizers say that in no other country in the world are tobacco products harmful to health sold so openly. By amending the Tobacco Control Act and making the licensing system mandatory for sellers, the sale and purchase of tobacco products will be stopped across the country. Apart from this, it will be possible to reduce the number of underage sellers to almost zero, besides stopping the advertisement of tobacco products at the point of sale. In addition, tobacco companies are promoting their products in different ways under the guise of social responsibility programs (CSR). The speakers called for quick amendment of the Tobacco Control Act in the public interest without being misled by the company's false propaganda regarding the amendment of the Tobacco Control Act.