Bangladesh Health Minister: Strengthening Tobacco Control Law to Reduce Smoking-Related Deaths

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Bangladesh Health Minister: Strengthening Tobacco Control Law to Reduce Smoking-Related Deaths
Bangladesh Health Minister Dr Samanta Lal Sen warns without stronger tobacco control laws, tobacco-related deaths and diseases cannot be reduced.

According to The Daily Star on March 20th, the health minister of Bangladesh, Dr. Samanta Lal Sen, stated during a meeting with representatives from PROGGA (Knowledge Progress) and ATMA (Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance) that without strengthening tobacco control laws, it would not be possible to reduce tobacco-related deaths and prevent diseases caused by tobacco. The minister praised the timely initiative to revise the tobacco control law.


According to the 2017 WHO report, the prevalence of tobacco use among adults (aged 15 and above) is as high as 35.3%. Recognizing this destructive impact, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has pledged to create a "smoke-free nation" by 2040, with the ongoing proposed amendments to the Smoking and Tobacco Product Usage (Control) Act of 2013 seen as a step towards achieving this commitment. The proposed amendments include measures such as eliminating designated smoking areas in all public spaces and public transportation, banning the display of tobacco products, ending tobacco companies' corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, prohibiting the sale of loose tobacco products, banning the production, import, and sale of e-cigarettes and other smoking products, and increasing the size of graphic health warnings (GHW) from the current 50% to 90%.


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