National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) organized a day-long workshop to talk about and finalize the draft tobacco control rules yet to be submitted to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 28 September 2013 at Nazimgarh Resort, Sylhet.

After 2 May 2013, when government amended the Tobacco Control Law 2005, there was a dire need to formulate the tobacco control rules in line with the amendment to make the law more explained and useful.

In the inaugural session, Mr Md. Shafiqul Islam Laskar, Additional Secretary, MOHFW graced the occasion as chief guest while Dr Thushara Fernando, WHO Representative to Bangladesh was present there as special guest. Mr. Md. Azam-E-Sadat, Deputy Secretary and Programme Manager-Tobacco Control chaired the session. Dr. Armando Peruga, Programme Manager, Tobacco Free Initiative of WHO Headquarters was present in the workshop as an International Expert.

At the commencement, Mr. Azam-E-Sadat gave an overview of the law amendment and rules drafting process. Then the members of the drafting committee shared their thoughts among them. Dr. Armando Peruga gave many inputs time to time and shared his experiences and discussed on the best practices around the world. He mentioned that these rules are not only important for Bangladesh, but also for the rest of the world. The drafting committee finalized the draft of the coveted tobacco control rules in the workshop with detail discussion on every section of the rules in presence of the senior government officials.

Dr Thushara Fernando expressed his satisfaction over the progress made so far to formulate the rules. He also reassured continued support of WHO for tobacco control in Bangladesh.

Mr Md. Shafiqul Islam Laskar, Additional Secretary of MOHFW acknowledged the support of WHO, especially the technical inputs came from technical officers from headquarters and its country office.

 

Two one day long capacity building trainings for Executive Magistrates on tobacco control law was held in Dhaka on 2-3 October 2013. National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) arranged the training to orient them better with tobacco control law and its enforcement. The first batch received training on 2 October 2013 while the second batch on 3 October 2013 at conference room of Health Economics Unit of MOHFW. 41 magistrates from 41 districts around the country attended the workshops.

In the inaugural session, Mr Md. Shafiqul Islam Laskar, Additional Secretary, MOHFW graced the occasion as chief guest and Mr Md. Ashadul Islam, Director General, Health Economics Unit, MOHFW was the special guest. Mr. Md. Azam-E-Sadat, Deputy Secretary and Programme Manager-Tobacco Control chaired the session.

In training sessions, Mr. Md. Azam-E-Sadat (Programme Manager-Tobacco Control), Dr M Mostafa Zaman (NPO-NCD, WHO), Ms Ishrat Chowdhury (Technical Advisor, The Union South East Asia), Mr Taifur Rahman (Advocacy and Media Coordinator, CTFK), Dr S Mahfuzul Huq (TNP-TOB, WHO) discussed on Global tobacco epidemic and Bangladesh perspective, Tobacco control law 2005 and Amended Tobacco control law 2013, WHO FCTC and MPOWER package, TAPS Ban and Smoke Free policies, Role of District and Upazila Taskforce committee on tobacco control. Later on a panel discussion on ‘Role of executive magistrates in enforcement of tobacco control law’ was facilitated by Mr Amin Ul Ahsan (Project Manager-Tobacco Control, NTCC) and Dr S Mahfuzul Huq (TNP-TOB, WHO). In the last session there was group work on 3 vital issues- 1) Development of an effective enforcement mechanism of the TC Law in the district level with the suggestions of more prospective authorized officers. 2) Determine the duties and responsibilities of the owner, manager or supervisor of a public place/public transport for fulfilling the purpose of section 7Ka of the amended law and 3) Develop a checklist of effective monitoring system for the violation of tobacco control law in the district or upazilla level.

The executive magistrates have reiterated the importance of law implementation and they have shown their high commitment in implementing the TC law at district and upazilla level. They also gave few precious recommendations for policy implication.

 

WNTD 2013 Observed

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOH) has organized a programme on 11 June at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, Dhaka to observe the World No Tobacco Day 2013 (WNTD) under the chairmanship of Secretary, MOH. Professor Dr. Syed Modasser Ali, Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister for MOH and Ministry of Social Welfare Affairs graced the occasion as the chief guest, while Dr. Captain (Retd.) Mozibur Rahman Fakir, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, MOH was present as the special guest. Director General of Health Services; WHO Representative to Bangladesh, President and Secretary General of Bangladesh Medical Association were present as special guests.

The speakers spoke about harmful effects of tobacco on public health and economy. They reiterated the need to create public awareness and to enforce the tobacco control law strictly. This year’s WNTD theme – ‘Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship’ – was highlighted in their deliberations. It was mentioned that the Government has recently amended the tobacco control law to make it better aligned with WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Government also raised tax on Biri after four years. They expressed their satisfaction saying that, it is becoming more and more difficult and socially unacceptable to smoke in public places and public transports. They noted that, some tobacco farmers are shifting from tobacco to strawberry cultivation as well. Around 700 guests from various departments of the government, non-government organizations attended the programme.  

 

National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) arranged one day long capacity building training for Executive Magistrates to orient them better with tobacco control law and its enforcement. The first batch received training on 19 February 2013 while the second batch on 20 February 2013 at conference room of Health Economics Unit of MOHFW. Forty three magistrates from forty three districts attended the workshops.

In training sessions, Mr Md. Shafiqul Islam Laskar, (Additional Secretary, MOHFW) Mr Raisul Alam Mondal (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration), Mr. Md. Azam-E-Sadat (Programme Manager-Tobacco Control), Dr M Mostafa Zaman (NPO-NCD, WHO), Ms Ishrat Chowdhury (Technical Advisor, The Union South East Asia), Mr Taifur Rahman (Advocacy and Media Coordinator, CTFK), Mr Syed Mahbubul Alam (Director-Planning, WBB Trust) discussed on global tobacco epidemic and Bangladesh perspective, tobacco control law 2005, WHO FCTC & MPOWER package, TAPS Ban and Smoke Free policies. Later on a panel discussion on ‘Role of executive magistrates in enforcement of tobacco control law’ was facilitated by Mr Amin Ul Ahsan (Project Manager-Tobacco Control, NTCC) and Dr S Mahfuzul Huq (TNP-TOB, WHO).

The executive magistrates has shown their high commitment in implementing the TC law at district and upazilla level and given few valuable recommendations for policy implication.

 

The proposed amendment has been approved by the cabinet on principle. On 26th August the cabinet has approved it. Now it will send to the ministry of law for vetting. Then it will be finally approved by the cabinet to submit the bill in the parliament.

Salient features of the proposed amendment of the Tobacco Control Act.

▪ Non smoking tobacco has been included in the definition of tobacco. Sec. 2(c)

▪ Public place and public transport become wider with general definition. Open public gathering , fair, workplace, restaurant etc included in the definition of public place. Sec. 2(f).

▪ Fine for smoking in PP/PT increased up to Tk.100.00.

Fine for industry up to Tk. 1 lac (0.1 million).

▪ Owner/administrator of the public place has got responsibility to keep his premises smoke-free, otherwise may be fined up to Tk. 500.00.

▪ Pictorial warning will be in place 50% on pack front area.

▪ Comprehensive advertisement Ban & no scope of cleaver promotion by the industry directly or indirectly.

 

The World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated throughout Bangladesh in befitting manner on 31 May.
The national programme was held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the morning, jointly organized by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH) and WHO Country Office. The venue was decorated with blue balloons and WNTD posters.
Senior Secretary of MoH chaired the meeting while Hon’ble Health Minister Professor Dr. A.F.M.Ruhal Haque graced the occasion as chief guest.
Advisor to Hon’ble Prime Minister Professor Dr. Syed Modasser Ali , Hon’ble State Minister for MoH Captain (Rtd) Dr. Mozibur Rahman Fakir, Governor – Bangladesh Bank, Acting WHO Representative to Bangladesh, Director General of Health Services, President & General Secretary of Bangladesh Medical Association were present as special guests.
Senior Government officials, members of civil society, NGO workers, members of scout and anti-tobacco activists attended the programme.
(more…)

 

Tobacco control law, being a minor act, is enforceable by ‘Mobile Courts’ as per the ‘Mobile Court Act’ of Bangladesh. Executive magistrates are empowered and responsible for operating mobile courts within their jurisdictions.

National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOH&FW) arranged one day long capacity building training workshops for executive magistrates to orient them better with tobacco control law and its enforcement. The first batch received training on 18 June while the second batch on 19 June at conference room of Health Economics Unit of MOH&FW. Forty magistrates from forty districts (out of 64 districts) attended the workshops.

Additional Secretary (ME&D), Joint Secretary (PER) and Programme Manager (Tobacco Control) from MOH&FW, Professional Officers from WHO, country representatives of The Union and CTFK were present in the inaugural sessions of the training. (more…)

 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) organized a workshop on Spreading Tobacco Epidemic through Tobacco Cultivation at Bandarban district on 12 December 2011. Mr Bir Bahadur U Shwe Sing,MP Honorable Chairman (State Minister), CHT Development Board addressed his speech as chief guest and Mr Mizanur Rahman,Deputy Commissioner, Bandarban chaired the session. The workshop organized to sensitize different stakeholders of government and non-government high officials, civil society representative and media personnel of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) districts. All were informed about the specific role to implement tobacco control activities at local level.

 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) organized divisional workshop at Rangpur division. The program is held on 08 December 2011. The divisional commissioner addressed his speech as chief guest and divisional director (Health) chaired the session. The workshop organized to sensitize different stakeholders of government and non-government high officials, civil society representative and media personnel at Rangpur division. All were informed about the specific role to implement tobacco control activities at local level. Officials of GO and NGO has committed to devote their best effort in respective sector to ensure enforcement for tobacco control law at divisional level.

 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) organized divisional workshop at Sylhet division. The programs are held on 30 November 2011. The divisional commissioner of respective division addressed his speech as chief guest and divisional director (Health) chaired the session. The workshop organized to sensitize different stakeholders of government and non-government high officials, civil society representative and media personnel at Sylhet division. All were informed about the specific role to implement tobacco control activities at local level. Officials of GO and NGO has committed to devote their best effort in respective sector to ensure enforcement for tobacco control law at divisional level.