State minister for disaster management and relief Md Enamur Rahman has said he will play an active role in favour of the revised draft law of the Tobacco Control Act when it will be placed before the cabinet, reports UNB.
"All parties will benefit if the law is passed quickly. The revised draft law will play an effective role in reducing tobacco use. This act needs to be passed quickly to make the initiative taken by the prime minister to protect public health a success," he added.
The state minister was speaking at the seminar "Expectations to policymakers to achieve a tobacco-free Bangladesh before the year 2040" organised by Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) in the capital Wednesday.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has made a commitment to making Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. She has also pledged to amend the Tobacco Control Act in line with the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The draft Tobacco Control Law Amendment Committee has been formed to further strengthen the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act 2005 (amended in 2013). The final draft is now being reviewed by the cabinet.
The six proposals to strengthen tobacco control laws put forward by DORP are the abolition of designated smoking areas in all public spaces and public transport; ban on tobacco companies' corporate social responsibility activities, display of tobacco products at sales points; ban on the import, production, consumption, and marketing of e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products and increasing the size of pictorial health warnings on bidi and cigarette packs from 50 per cent to 90 per cent.
Enamur said that the six proposals attached in the revised draft are very timely and effective.
He said there will be a detailed discussion on the amended law in the cabinet. He hoped that everyone would give their opinion in favour of it.
Also, founder and Chief Executive Officer of DORP AHM Noman said the government has taken some effective steps to prevent the spread of tobacco products. He hoped that the revised draft tobacco control law would be passed soon in line with the trend.
Gaibandha-1 MP Shamim Haider Patwari, Health Services Division additional secretary Kazi Zebunnessa Begum, National Tobacco Control Cell coordinator Hossain Ali Khondoker, and DORP executive advisor Md Azhar Ali Talukder also spoke at the event.