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‘We also want Bangladesh to be tobacco free’ – Md. Mahbub Ali, MP

‘Smoking in public places is banned in our country, but in many cases, it is not. In particular, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism will work with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend the provision for designated smoking areas for smoking in restaurants, said by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism and the Dhaka Ahsania Mission at the conference room State Minister for Aviation and Tourism. Mahbub Ali, MP. He was speaking at a meeting jointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism on October 19.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism. Mahbub Ali said smoking harms health and the environment. In addition, non-smokers suffer from the effects of secondhand smoke. Proper awareness can raise the issue of the dangers of smoking. And so we are also working in agreement with the Prime Minister’s commitment to building a tobacco-free Bangladesh.

Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism. Coordinator (Additional Secretary) of National Tobacco Control Cell Hossain Ali Khandaker, Lead Policy Adviser of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh Md. Mostafizur Rahman, General Secretary of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Dr. SM Khalilur Rahman and Vital Strategies Head of Programs-Bangladesh. Shafiqul Islam. Md. Shariful Islam, Coordinator, Tobacco Control Project, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, presented the keynote address at the meeting.

In his welcome address, Iqbal Masood, Director, Health and Wash Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, said that tobacco is responsible for many non-communicable diseases. And the Dhaka Ahsania Mission is trying to fulfill the dream of making the country tobacco-free by 2040 announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Therefore, in collaboration with the Restaurant Owners Association, we have conducted smoke-free activities in 24 districts of the country. Star hotels have banned smoking in their hotels and restaurants for the most part. However, it has not yet been possible to make medium-quality restaurants smoke-free. They requested the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism to take steps to make the restaurants completely smoke-free.

Coordinator (Additional Secretary) of the National Tobacco Control Cell Hossain Ali Khandaker said, “We have to take and implement various initiatives step by step to build a tobacco-free Bangladesh announced by the Prime Minister.” One of them is the amendment of the law. To this end, Section 8 of the Tobacco Control Act should be amended to prohibit ‘designated places for smoking’ in all types of public places and to ban the use of any type of tobacco, including smoking.

Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh, said it is the responsibility of the state to protect public health as per the constitution. Those who do not smoke have the right to protect themselves from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. However, the number of victims of secondhand smoke is higher. Since the smoke of smoking cannot be controlled. That’s why smoking should be banned in all types of public places, including restaurants.Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism. Mokammel Hossain said that smokers have the right to be protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. We also want to make the country tobacco-free as per the instructions of the Prime Minister. We also want to stop smoking everywhere, including in restaurants, to protect public health. We will also consider how much damage it does to indirect smoking as a result of having a ‘special place for smoking’ in the restaurant. However, it is not possible for the ministry alone to do these things. It is possible to make the country tobacco-free only on the basis of mutual cooperation.

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