A bill, titled ‘Smoking and Usage of Tobacco based products (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2013’, was placed in Bangladesh Parliament on Tuesday seeking to make the law more time befitting.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque placed the Bill in the House that was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.
The Committee has been given 10 working days to submit their report in the House.
In the objective, it was stated that the amended Bill includes Jorda, Sada-Pata, Gul and similar other items as the tobacco-based products.
The Bill also proposes to include pictorial cautionary message on each packet of tobacco-based products.
It also seeks to increase the punishment for smoking in the public place and violation of law by any company, proposing fine of Tk 100 to a person for smoking in the public place in place of existing Tk 50.
The bill also proposes that the owner or caretaker of a public place or transport will be responsible for making it smoking-free. For the failure of making smoking free zone, the owner or caretaker of a place or transport will be fined Tk 500.
The Bill also seeks to prohibit the use of “lights, mild, low-tar, extra, ultra” or such other words for tobacco products.
This is good for Bangladesh, passive smokers have continued to live risky lives as a result of careless smokers world over. There is need to campaign for a smoke free world. Tobacco should be used to make other bi-products other than cigarettes. Donors should support this smoke ban campaign. In Uganda WEDNET-AFRICA an advocacy NGO has started SMOFREC (Smoke Free Camapaign) to be implemented in Kampala city and we hope to roll it countrywide and in the East Africa region. We need to put more effort in online Action Networks to be able to share best practices in this drive; what works and where improvement is required.