‘Non-smokers have the right to protect themselves from the dangers of second-hand smoking’
Speakers at a virtual discussion viewed that the current tobacco control law needs to be amended to ensure cent percent smoking-free environment for the expansion of the tourism and hospitality sector.
There should be no smoking zones in restaurants to protect non-smokers from the dangers of second-hand smoking, they said.
Dhaka Ahsania Mission and Aviation and Tourism Journalists’ Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB) hosted the event and discussed the necessity of amending the Smoking and Tobacco Product Usage (Control) Act, 2005.
The event, held on Tuesday, was chaired by Nadira Kiran, president, ATJFB and news editor, ATN Bangla.
Lead Policy Advisor of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Bangladesh Md Mostafizur Rahman, Grants Manager Abdus Salam Mia, Senior Policy Advisor Md Ataur Rahman Masud, Communications Officer Sarkar Shams Bin Sharif, Assistant Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Mukhlesur Rahman, Tanzim Anwar, general secretary, ATJFB and online in charge, BSS, spoke at the meeting.
Md Shariful Islam, coordinator, Tobacco Control Project, presented the keynote paper, while Rezaur Rahman Rizvi, media manager, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, moderated the meeting.
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Md Mostafizur Rahman said non-smokers have the right to protect themselves from the dangers of second-hand smoking.
But the number of victims of second-hand smoking is higher, he said.
“That is why smoking at all types of public places should be banned. In this case, the media can convey this message to the government on a regular basis."
Md Mukhlesur Rahman said 63 countries, including Canada, Spain and Nepal, have laws prohibiting smoking in public places.
According to the law of the country, designated smoking area can be kept in public places, restaurants with one room not bounded by four walls, multi-room public transports (train, launch) and non-mechanical public transports, he said.
He said Section 7 of the Smoking and Tobacco Product Usage (Control) Act should be amended to prohibit smoking in all public places and to ban the use of any type of tobacco.
Nadira Kiran said a tourism-friendly environment is essential for the development of the tourism sector.