The tobacco control law structure needs to be strengthened and the factors that are encouraging the general people to consume tobacco needs to be eradicated for a tobacco-free Bangladesh in line with the prime minister's assurance, speakers opined.
For this the policymakers and citizens need to work together, they added.
Besides, Designated Smoking Areas (DSA), displaying smoking scenes in movies on condition, and Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes by tobacco companies must be banned, they added in an view exchange session titled "Contemporary Anti-Tobacco Movements and Public Thought" organised by the non-government think tank Unnayan Shamannay in the capital on Wednesday (30 November).
Former Central Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman pointed out that policymakers have not only played a notable role in reducing tobacco consumption in Bangladesh but also provided significant support in anti-tobacco movements.
He added that citizens and policymakers should work together to fulfill the commitment of the prime minister through stricter tobacco control laws and theeir proper implementation.
Law Maker Fazle Hossain Badsha said a negative impression has already been created in general people's minds about tobacco. The dream of a tobacco-free Bangladesh can proceed if the tobacco control laws are strengthened.
Another Law Maker SM Shahzada said it is evident that the use of tobacco increased at the time of the election campaign.
Necessary steps should be taken against the tradition of tempting the voters with bidis and cigarettes during election time, he urged.