Anti-tobacco campaigners yesterday succeeded in convincing the authorities of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) to stop a tobacco company-sponsored talent hunt programme on its campus.
As the firm made preparations to organise a roadshow for the programme named “Battle of Minds 2017” on the campus, the campaigners held a rally there, demanding cancellation of such “illegal” campaign, said a press release of anti-tobacco organisations.
The organisations include Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance, Progotir Jonno Gyan (Progga), Dhaka Ahsania Mission and Tobacco Control and Research Cell.
A campaigner who took part in the protest said the Buet authorities told him in the afternoon that they would not allow the programme to be held on the campus.
The tobacco company has been organising the programme since 2004 to “entice youths to smoking” and “influence policymakers”, anti-tobacco campaigners said.
On October 03, Tobacco Industry Watch Bangladesh of Progga in a message to anti-tobacco organisations and the media cautioned that a tobacco firm has been organising a programme (Battle of Minds) to promote tobacco products under the guise of providing employment opportunities -- an act that is prohibited by law, said an official at Progga.
According to section 5 (C) of Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (control) Act, 2005 [Amended in 2013], sponsoring such competitions and distributing awards by using the name, sign, logo and trademark of a tobacco company is completely banned.
Violators of this law will face a monetary fine not exceeding Tk 1,00,000 or imprisonment not less than three months or both.