Sensitizing people to implement Tobacco Control Act stressed

RAJSHAHI Speakers at a programme here today laid emphasis on taking strengthened initiative to sensitize grassroots people in implementing the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act.

Effective steps should be taken to develop awareness among the commoners who resort to smoking in public places, including offices, court areas, hospitals and market places, they added.

The speakers came up with the observation while addressing a view-sharing meeting on tobacco control at city Bhaban conference hall of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC).

Association for Community Development (ACD), a rights-based non-government development organization, hosted the meeting to mark the unfolding of a survey report related to 'advertisement, publicity and incentives of tobacco products in Rajshahi city area. Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK) supported the meeting.

RCC Panel Mayor Rajab Ali and Civil Surgeon Dr Mijanur Rahman addressed the meeting as chief and special guests respectively while RCC Secretary Abu Hayat Rahmatullah was in the chair.

District Education Officer Nasir Uddin, Senior Health Education Officer Md Shamsuzzaman and CTFK Grants Manager Abdus Salam also spoke.

ACD Advocacy Officer Shariful Islam Shamim presented the survey report saying gross violation of the Tobacco Control Act in the restricted areas of public places posing a serious threat to the public health.

Dr Mijanur Rahman narrated various demerits of smoking and use of other smokeless tobacco products. He said imposing restrictions on smoking in public places and transports is very important for protecting many non-smokers from various non-communicable diseases caused by smoking. Use of tobacco items causes many non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory disorder, the speakers mentioned in the programme.

Some tobacco companies are expanding their market through promotional activities in the name of corporate social responsibility, which must be stopped, they added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)