[Dhaka, Wednesday, 8 September 2021] Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), a rights-based research and advocacy organization organized a sharing meeting to disseminate the findings of a study titled ‘Tobacco Industry Interference on Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship at Points of Sale in Dhaka city of Bangladesh’ with the National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at NTCC meeting room on Wednesday, 8 September.
The study focused on exploring Tobacco Industry’s interference and manipulation through Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship at Points of Sale in Dhaka city. Ms. Kazi Zebunnessa Begum, Additional Secretary & Program Director, NTCC attended the meeting as chief guest while Dr. Mohd Shahadat Hossain Mahmud, Director General (Health Economics Unit) and Khondokar Zakir Hossain, Additional Secretary & Coordinator, NTCC attended as special guests. Lead Policy Adviser of CTFK Md. Mostafizur Rahman presided over the occasion. Among others Joint Secretary (World Health), Nilufer Nazneen; Joint Secretary (Public Health) SM Alam; Deputy Secretary, Md. Sadekul Islam; Deputy Secretary, Khandoker Zakir Hossain from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and CTFK’s Grants Manager, Abdus Salam Miah and Senior Policy Adviser, Ataur Rahman and Communications Manager, Sarker Shams Bin Sharif were present at the meeting. Zayed Siddiki, Project coordinator of VOICE presented the key findings of the study.
Kazi Zebunnessa Begum, Additional Secretary and Program Director, NTCC said that the Health Ministry is working on strengthening the tobacco control law. She emphasized on strong policy support from all concerns in this regard.
Dr. Mohd. Shahadat Hossain Mahmud, Director General of Health Economics Unit said that his office is committed to implement tobacco control law and realize Prime Minister’s declaration to make Bangladesh tobacco free by 2040. It is our biggest imperative to take proper action, he added.
Mostafizur Rahman, Lead Policy Advisor, CTFK said that though advertisements and sponsorship is illegal in the law, banning product display at points of sell specifically through the amendment of the Tobacco Control Law can help reducing these sorts of violations.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of VOICE briefed a welcome speech and delivered the objectives of the meeting and said that the TC law needs to be strengthened in order to make sure these violations do not take place.