Concern over violation of tobacco control law

Regional members of Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) have expressed their grave concern over gross violation of tobacco control law in Rajshahi region and urged the authorities concerned to take punitive measures to resist the violation.
They viewed the government has amended the law to make it more stringent because of growing tobacco use in the country. The main attraction of the landmark law is that it bans all sorts of tobacco advertisements at the point of sale and sponsorships of the industries. The law also bans the selling of cigarettes to those below 18.They were addressing the ATMA’s Rajshahi regional meeting held at the conference room of Association for Community Development (ACD) in the city today. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Bloomberg Philanthropies supported the event.The anti-tobacco activists viewed the retailers and other vendors concerned should abide by the law of the tobacco control to protect the public health from bad effect of both smoke and smokeless tobacco products.
Tobacco products advertisements through packet display at all selling points and unabated marketing of foreign branded cigarettes are taking place everywhere violating the law.They also mentioned that selling of tobacco products especially cigarettes to the schoolchildren and smoking in public places and transports are continuing.With ATMA member Alamgir Kabir Tota in the chair, journalists Sohel Mahbub, Ahsan Habib Apu, Ziaul Haque, Mobarak Ali, Akkash Ali, Paritosh Chowdhury Adittya, Sharif Suman, Dablu Kumar Ghosh and Ashraful Islam spoke on the occasion. ACD Project Coordinator Ehsanul Amin Emon moderated the discussion.
They said the government should stop any kind of promotion for tobacco cultivation. It is more important to have policies or laws to reduce tobacco cultivation. At the same time, the government should undertake projects to develop alternative livelihoods for the tobacco farmers.They 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.In this context, the media men said the said some shops have well-designed display showcases with colourful lighting, which have been made for keeping cigarette packets.Some other shops are displaying cigarette packs at the showcases while some shops have kept their showcases empty. Cigarette consumption must be restricted to a greater extent for the sake of building a drug addiction-free society. -BSS, Rajshahi