Pictorial warning stuck in TC Rules

The amended tobacco control law is of 21 months now after its passing in the National Parliament in April 2013, but some important provisions of the revised law gets stuck for the want of Rules finalization. Consequently, the section of Pictorial Warning on tobacco products’ packets is still theoretical. It is alleged that the Law Ministry is delay-maker in the Rules finalization process with name of vetting (actually favoring tobacco industry) on the amended law.

Thus, the Health Ministry will meet with relevant stakeholders today afternoon including the representatives of printing press owners’ association (shadow Tobacco Company) over the Rules finalization issue and steps to remove the stagnancy. A report on this published today, January 15, 2015 on The Daily Janakantha by Hamid Uz Zaman Mamaun – an ATMA member.

In fact, the press owners’ association is to advocate the tobacco companies and will urge the Ministry that it will be inconvenient for them to print pictorial warnings on tobacco packets within the proposed 9 months period, and will seek time extension for the purpose (which is a preset strategy coached by the tobacco companies as they are now unable to make further moves to delay the Rules formulation process and the passage of enforcing pictorial warning on tobacco packets for the nationwide anti-tobacco activities).

Anti-tobacco experts are on the view that the neighboring countries have adopted pictorial warning on tobacco packets within six months for the betterment of the public health and have marketed tobacco packets with graphical images, but seeking 18 months in Bangladesh for executing the process is very unusual.

They also indicated that the Law Ministry delay in vetting the law is the violation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC- the international treaty to control tobacco globally) that indicates to enforce the pictorial warning within six months after passing the amended tobacco control law.

Anti-tobacco researchers have revealed that pictorial warning on tobacco packets is one of the most effective ways to help people give up smoking as the terrifying images of tobacco use cast negative impacts on the smokers. Regarding Bangladesh, pictorial earning on 50 per cent space of the packets will be more helpful as majority of the smokers are illiterate and unaware of the tiny anti-tobacco warning on the packets.

Please see the link below for the detail report:

http://dailyjanakantha.com/?p=details&csl=106152

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