Strong measures need to be taken immediately for reducing tobacco use in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 as declared by the prime minister, anti-tobacco organisation Progga said today.
A strong tobacco control law and its effective implementations are highly required in this regard. However, due to some loopholes in the existing tobacco control law, it fails to reduce tobacco use efficiently, it said in a press release.
Today, delegates from Progga (Knowledge for Progress), an anti-tobacco research and advocacy organisation, had a discussion meeting on the necessity of amending tobacco control law and the way forward, with Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, chairman of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University.
Prof Siddique said that the existing tobacco control law requires some amendment along with some additions to save the people from consuming such a toxic product like tobacco, as well as to achieve SDG-3.
He further underscored "…we need to go forward in rendering timely amendment of the law and its firm implementation."
Progga made some proposals of amendment in tobacco control law.
Those include removal of the exemptions in the smoking ban for restaurants and public transport, ban on the display of tobacco products at points of sale, ban on the 'corporate social responsibility' activities of tobacco companies, ban on the sale of single sticks and unpackaged smokeless tobacco, ban on the sale and import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and permit for stricter rules on packaging including increases to the size of health warnings.