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Tobacco Control Law & Smoke-free Environment

Tobacco and smoking are serious threats to public health and the economy of Bangladesh. Smokers’ have to pay a variety of physical and mental hazards for smoking. According to physician, smoker kills his/her life time by fourteen minutes a day for smoking.

Aiming to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco, Bangladesh government signed an international treaty- Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2003. Following the treaty, it passed the tobacco control law in 2005.

Due to some loopholes, the law was not playing effective roles to reduce tobacco usages. Thus, the government amended the law in 2013. Finally, on 12th March the Rules of the amended tobacco control law has passed.

There are some strong provisions in the Law 2013 and the Rules 2015 to protect women, child and non-smokers. Accordingly, smoking is completely banned in ‘Public Places’ and ‘Public Transports’. However, most of the people are unaware about this important provision of the amended law.

To popularize this important section of the law among stakeholders, PROGGA has organized a roundtable discussion with the leading Bangla newspaper The Daily Prothom Alo. A special supplement over the issue has been published on the newspaper on May 01, 2015.

The following recommendations have come from the discussion:
1. Effective measures should be taken to stop harmful activities of Tobacco Company
2. Giving more priority to protect people from the danger of smoking
3. Inter-ministerial coordination is badly needed to control smoking at public places and public transports
4. Creating awareness among the mass-people
5. Stop showing smoking scenes in the films or movies
6. Monitor different aspects of tobacco control by setting up a special cell initiating by the State Minister of Home.

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