Government Policy

Strict enforcement of tobacco control law underscored

Experts at a participatory discussion here

unanimously called for a proper enforcement of the amended tobacco control

law to free the public health from various non-contagious diseases caused by

tobacco uses.

They viewed gross violation of the prevailing Tobacco Control Act

continues in restricted areas including public places threatening public

health almost everywhere.

Frequent and indiscriminate smoking in public places and transports affect

the non-smokers more than that of the direct smokers.

The observation came at an advocacy meeting titled Enforcement of Smoking

and Tobacco Control Law held in the conference hall of Civil Surgeon Office

on Monday.

Association for Community Development (ACD), a rights-based non-government

entity, organized the meeting in order to create awareness among district and

upazila level sanitary inspectors on the issue.

Civil Surgeon Dr Sanjit Kumar Saha addressed the meeting with District

Sanitary Inspector Shah Alam in the chair.

Upazila Sanitary Inspectors Ashraful Islam, Asadul Islam and Entaj Ali and

ACD Programme Officers Krishna Biswas and Tuhin Alam also spoke.

In his concept paper presentation, Enhasul Amin Emon, program coordinator

of ACD, narrated various demerits of smocking and uses of other smokeless

tobacco products.

He said imposing restriction on smoking in public places and transports is

very important for protecting many non-smokers from various chronic diseases

caused by smoking.

He said forging a social movement has become an urgent need for ensuring

hundred percent smoke-free public places and transports for freeing millions

of second hand and passive smoking from various harmful effects.

Dr Sanjit Kumar Saha said the uses of tobacco items cause many non-

communicable diseases like cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes,

tuberculosis and chronic respiratory disorder.

He alleged that some of the tobacco companies are expanding their market

promotional activities everywhere in the name of corporate social

responsibilities, which must be resisted.

Dr Saha viewed the government has amended the law to make it more

stringent because of growing tobacco use in the country. The law also bans

the selling of cigarettes to those below 18, he also said.

Coordination among the key stakeholders, awareness building and capacity

development, law enforcement particularly mobile court operation could be

vital strategies for effective enforcement of the law, he added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)