DHAKA: Graphic health warning along with pictures on the packet of tobacco products would be added from March in 2016, according to the sections of smoking and tobacco product use control law (amend).
Health and Family welfare state minister Zahid Maleque came up with the disclosure in a press conference on the World No Tobacco Day on May 31 at Secretariat of the city on Thursday.
The theme of this year is “Stop illicit trade of tobacco products” and like other countries, Bangladesh will observe the day.
Zahid Maleque said Bangladesh government Bangladesh passed the Tobacco Control Law Amendment Bill on 29 April 2013, closing many loopholes in the country’s previous tobacco control law. Later on March 19 this year, tobacco product use control law 2015 has been published as gazette.
According to the measure taken in the amendment include --- Advertisements at points of sale are banned. Graphic health warnings are to be printed on tobacco packs that cover at least 50% of each principal surface area.
But, the tobacco companies pasting advertisement in the selling centers violating the law. Taking this act as challenge, the ministry will remove the advertisements through mobile court, the state minister added.
Citing that the tobacco companies evaded tax through smuggling, the state minister said alongside control the smuggling, the minimum rate of tobacco products should be increased.
However, the health ministry sent a recommendation letter to National Board of Revenue (NBR) to increase tax on tobacco products.
According to the information of World Health Organization (WHO), Zahid Maleque said the government earn around Tk 2,400 crore every year from tobacco products. But, it face Tk 5,000 crore loss for treatment on tobacco caused disease, premature death, lameness. So, the net loss is Tk 2,600 crore.
The state minister said the World No Tobacco Day will be observed in 64 districts.
However, a rally will be brought out from National Press Club and a discussion will be held in Osmani Smriti Auditorium on the day.
Health Secretary Syed Manjurul Islam, health department director general Din Mohammad Nurul Haque, among others, were present at press meet.
BDST: 2033 HRS, MAY 28, 2015