Tobacco is a legal obligation to Bangladesh as it has ratified the WHO’s main contract, visiting President of the Washington campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) said.
“After the ratification, it is a legal obligation to comply with (the contract),” Matthew Myers told bdnews24.com on Sunday.
“No one will punish you (the government) for failure to comply, but it will mean that you condemn their citizens to die prematurely.”
Bangladesh has ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2005, but, according to Myers, it is still to fully implement the agreement, one of the key tools in fighting the tobacco menace.
After the ratification of the treaty, the government was forced to pass a law in the same year, but the law didn’t comply with the rules and guidelines for the contract in full, according to analysts, encouraging more young people, to take up the habit.
The study showed more than 43 percent of Bangladesh’s 15 years of age and older consume tobacco in one form or another.
Estimated suggest 57,000 people die from diseases associated with tobacco, while about 300,000 suffer from disabilities in Bangladesh, where economists say that the price of tobacco products is gradually falling since 2003 due to “faulty” taxation.
Even the question of the Framework Convention for the cessation of intervention by the tobacco companies are reported to have been ignored, pushing an amendment to the law of 2005 on Tobacco Control.
To make it more stringent, the process of amending the law began two and a half years ago, but he stopped, apparently under the influence of the tobacco giant British American Tobacco Bangladesh in a clear violation of Article 5.3 and its guidelines.
Bangladesh also couldn’t provide a smoke-free environment, as it had promised by the ratification of the treaty.
Myers, who is in Dhaka on a two-day visit, said it was time for Bangladesh to bring the law into compliance with a legal obligation.
“The delay in adopting the law only in favor of the tobacco industry, not people,” he said, “Many countries are” slow “smoking after making a strong law.”
The CTFK chief suggested incorporating the inclusion of smokeless tobacco, such as zarda, garden stalemate and hum, as of tobacco products in-law, the provision of pictorial health warnings covering 50 per cent of cigarettes, a ban on point of sale advertising and the rise of smoking areas inside the building.
“The inclusion of smokeless tobacco in the law is critical, as many people especially women are victims of this,” he told bdnews24.com after he heard the agony of the victims of tobacco use in the discussion.
Myers, who met with Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haq at the Secretariat, hoped that the meeting will accelerate the adoption of the Law on Tobacco Control.
But he suggested that the intervention of the Prime Minister to resolve the issue between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Finance, when it comes to issues, and tobacco – the rights and taxation.
“Only the political will and leadership can solve this problem,” he said, “the prime minister has the opportunity to change the lives of tens of thousands of people who use tobacco.”
“On which side of the Prime Minister will be the children or the industry?” He advocated raising taxes on all tobacco products of Bangladesh, it is considered cheap in the world.
Referring to the British Journal of Tobacco Control, CTFK said the President of Ukraine in the period between 2005 and 2008; the government can not raise taxes on tobacco products are largely due to pressure from the tobacco companies. Consumption fell at that time.
But in 2009-2010, they have introduced taxes 405 percent, and in 2009 consumption dropped by 13 percent, and in 2010 declined by 15 percent.
But state revenues are not refused, he grew up, he said.
“There is no way to think that if people quit smoking, they stop spending money. They will be carried out in other consumer products that contribute significantly to the economy.”
He said it could create new job opportunities as well.
Myers helped found CTFK, the leading organization in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly losses world in 1996.
Initially, he served as executive Vice President and Legal Counsel and oversaw the Compaign’s legal and advocacy efforts.
On January 1, 2000, he became president.
The CTFK helps Bangladesh in campaigning against tobacco in particularly forming professional alliances and also in forming law.
The President, who will leave Dhaka on Monday, said they also help Bangladesh to implement the new law, once passed.