Strict enforcement of anti-tobacco law demanded

By Syed Mahbubul Alam | 22 Sep, 2013

Speakers at a workshop Saturday urged the government to strictly implement the anti-tobacco law to discourage people from the use of tobacco for protecting protect public health, reports BSS.
Since use of tobacco causes death, the government should strictly implement anti-tobacco law and the government officials and policy makers should not join tobacco company’s programme to boost up anti-tobacco campaign, they said.
The speakers said this while addressing the opening session of a daylong workshop on “Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3” organized by WBB Trust at its office here.

Presided over by Coordinator of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) Saifuddin Ahmed, among others, Ms. Ishrat Chowdhury of the International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, Amin Ul Ahsan of National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC), Aminul Islam Bakul of Action in Development and Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam of WBB Trust addressed the programme. Syeda Anonna Rahman, National Advocacy Officer of WBB Trust, moderated the function.

Addressing the function, Saifuddin Ahmed said the article 5.3 of FCTC of the World Health organization (WHO) should strictly abide by to keep tobacco control initiatives free from tobacco company interference.
He said if public health issues can be kept from Tobacco Company’s influence, it will reduce deaths and disabilities & tobacco related costs.

Ishrat Chowdhury laid emphasis on capacity building of government officials and NGO representatives on Article 5.3 of the FCTC to frustrate campaign of tobacco companies for influencing the people for tobacco use.
Aminul Islam Bakul said the tobacco companies have been violating tobacco control law through advertising and promotional activities and also undermining government initiatives on tobacco control.
In this connection, he urged the government to punish tobacco companies for violating the law.

Regarding article 5.3 of FCTC, Syed Mahbubul Alam said Article 5.3 of FCTC is the key safe-guard for public health & tobacco control. As this convention is mandatory for Bangladesh, the government and concerned authorities should follow article 5.3 of FCTC.

Programme Manager of National Tobacco Control Cell Aminul Ahsan and Project Coordinator of WBB Trust Aminul Islam Sujon presented key-note papers on “Article 5.3 of FCTC of WHO” and “Influence of Tobacco Companies and Law Violation” in the workshop.

Representatives from 40 anti-tobacco organizations from the BATA and other tobacco control wings participated in the workshop.