75pc tobacco packets have no pictorial warning: Survey

75pc tobacco packets have no pictorial warning: Survey

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Dhaka – Although it has been made mandatory to insert pictorial heath warnings on 50 percent areas of tobacco products, about 75 percent packets of tobacco products have no pictorial warning, says a new survey.The survey reveals 14 brands of bidi, covered under the study, is yet to introduce any pictorial warning on bidi packets, showing zero percent implementation of graphics health warning on bidis.Seven anti-tobacco organisations, including Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Environmental Council Bangladesh, Ubinig and National Heart Foundation, conducted the survey in eight divisional towns — Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Barisal, Rangpur and Mymensingh — during April 4-7 this year, with financial support from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK).The study findings were revealed at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Tuesday. The survey found that about 55 percent cigarettes available in the market have no pictorial health warning, which is a direct violation of anti-tobacco rules. The Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Rule 2015 that has made the use of pictorial health warning messages on packets of all tobacco products came into effect on March 19, 2016. According to the study, there are no pictorial health warnings on about 92 percent packets of jarda and 90 percent of gul packets (non-smoking tobacco). Four cigarette companies, out of six, are still producing cigarettes without inserting pictorial health warnings on cigarettes packets. Bangladesh is among top 10 countries of the world, which use tobacco products for reasons like overpopulation, lower income and poverty. About 57,000 people die and 382,000 others get maimed annually due to tobacco use and smoking in the country. President of National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh and National Professor Brig (retd) Abdul Malik said any pictorial health warning is very effective in cutting tobacco use. “When tobacco users see pictorial health warnings, they get scared.”Stressing the need for proper implementation of the existing
anti-tobacco law, he said Bangladesh should take a long-term policy to make the country free from tobacco by 2040. CTFK grants manager Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan, technical adviser of The Union Syed Mahbubul Alam and country representative of Vital Strategies Bangladesh Md Shafiqul Islam, among others, spoke at the press conference.(UNB)

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