Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has issued a circular, banning the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions.
The circular which also includes ban on advertisements was published on September 3 in local dailies.
The circular said sale, advertisement, and promotion of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions will be treated as punishable offence as per Cigarette and Tobacco Product Control Act 2005 (amendment 2015).
The circular asked tobacco companies to stop sale of and publication, advertisement promoting tobacco products within the said periphery of educational institutions by September 10.
CCC’s mobile courts will take steps as per law if anyone is found selling and advertising tobacco products within the said area after September 10, the circular added.
Md Shamsuddoha, chief executive officer of CCC, told The Daily Star that the circular comes as part of prime minister’s directive to free the country of tobacco by 2040.
“If we can prevent our students from consuming tobacco, we will get an anti-tobacco generation. This is why we issued the circular as per the law,” he said.
Nazer Hossain, president of Consumer Association of Bangladesh’s Chattogram chapter, told The Daily Star that the decision to ban tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions was a milestone for Chattogram.
“Students are often tempted by sale and advertisement of cigarettes. Taking up smoking at an early age often leads to using narcotics. This ban is a step towards a tobacco-free nation,” he said.
Sisir Dutta, executive director of Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts -- a non-government organisation involved in generating awareness against tobacco products, told The Daily Star that laws were hardly implemented in the country.
“We raised awareness and recently conducted a study on the sale of tobacco products within the periphery of educational institutions that helped CCC understand how rampant it is in Chattogram city. We welcome the ban which we hope will help us have a tobacco-free city gradually,” he added.