Public transports need to be freed from smoking

Public transports need to be freed from smoking

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Speakers at a discussion unanimously called for collective efforts for freeing the public transports from smoking to protect many non-smokers from passive smoking.They viewed the transports owners and their employees should work together for creating mass-awareness so that all the public transports are freed from smoking as smoking in public transports is a criminal offense. As a whole, they should abide by the law of the tobacco control to protect the public health from bad effect of both smoke and smokeless tobacco products. The observations came at an advocacy meeting styled “Cent Percent Smoking-free Public Transports and Enforcement of Tobacco Control Law” held at the Office of Transport Owners Group in Rajshahi yesterday. Association for Community Development (ACD) organized the discussion in association with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Bloomberg Philanthropies. With Safkat Monjur, Joint General Secretary of the group, in the chair ACD Advocacy Officer Hosne Ara Parveen Farjana, Programme Officer Shariful Islam and Journalist Sharif Suman, among others, spoke on the occasion. The discussants viewed the government has amended the law to make it more stringent because of growing tobacco use in the country. The main attraction of the landmark law is that it bans all sorts of tobacco advertisements at the point of sale and sponsorships of the industries. The law also bans the selling of cigarettes to those below 18. More than 43 percent of adults most of them are young from 16 to 23 either smoke or chew tobacco. The transport owners, labourers and others concerned have a vital role to play for successful implementation of the law. During her keynote presentation, Hosne Ara Parveen Farjana narrated various demerits of smoking and uses of other tobacco products. She said imposing restriction on smoking in public places and transports is very important for rotecting many non-smokers from various chronic diseases. Forging social movement has become an urgent need for ensuring hundred per cent smoke-free public places and transports for freeing millions of second hand and passive smoking from various harmful effects. The uses of tobacco items cause many non-communicable diseases like cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tuberculosis and chronic respiratory disease. Farjana alleged that some of the tobacco companies are expanding their market promotional activities everywhere in the name of corporate social responsibilities, which must be resisted. BSS, RAJSHAHI

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