Amend Tobacco Control Law Immediately: ATMA Demands 

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Last Updated on March 23, 2022

To safeguard public health, Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) has voiced demands for immediate amendment of the country’s tobacco control law. The media personnel alliance has presented its demands today (Tuesday, 16 March 2022) in a virtual event.

It was informed in the event that tobacco claims around 161,000 lives a year in Bangladesh and also cause hundreds of thousands of disabilities.

The number of tobacco users still stands at around 40 million which is a matter of grave concern. To facilitate a change, Bangladesh needs to amend its tobacco control law and make it more time-fitting.

During the meeting, ATMA raised the following demands to be included in the tobacco control law:

  1. Remove the provision of a “designated smoking zone” and ban smoking in all public places, workspaces, and public transports to ensure a comprehensive tobacco-free environment;
  2. Ban the display of tobacco products at points of sale;
  3. Ban ‘corporate social responsibility activities of tobacco companies;
  4. Ban the sale of single sticks and unpackaged smokeless tobacco;
  5. Ban the sale and import of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products;
  6. Allow for stricter rules on packaging including increases to the size of graphic health warnings.

The virtual meeting, attended by around 40 members, was hosted by Nadira Kiran, co-convener, ATMA. Mizan Chowdhury, ATMA Co-convener, presented activities of the organization to attendees.

A Special Discussion was participated by Sukanta Gupta Alak, Editor, Desh TV. Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Bangladesh, Mortuza Haider Liton, convener of ATMA, ABM Zubair, Executive Director, PROGGA and Md. Hasan Shahriar, Head of Programme, PROGGA attended the meeting as a guest speaker.

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