GOOD NEWS: The Tobacco Control Law (2005), amended (2013), ruled that Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) should be placed on the upper 50% of all tobacco packs. The government has ordered tobacco companies in Bangladesh to print graphic health warnings (GHW) on the upper half (50%) of tobacco packs from Sep 19, 2017, changing the earlier order.
BAD NEWS: The tobacco industry violates the law by interfering the government proposal with small, distorted and barely visible graphic health warnings placed at the bottom of tobacco packs. The tobacco industry has delayed implementation of law through a Court stay order. THEY ARE ACTIVELY INTERFERING WITH THE GOVERNMENT POLICY OF PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH.
WHAT CAN WE DO? Expose Tobacco Industry interference to the public. Use large, full-color, and hard-hitting pictures showing the health harms of tobacco use that will effectively warn smokers, discourage young non-smokers from picking up this deadly habit, help reduce tobacco use, and contribute to protecting our health.
NEIGHBORING COUNTRY EXAMPLES: Our neighboring countries require such pictorial warnings: Nepal (90% front and back), India (85% of the front of cigarette packs), and Sri Lanka (80% front and back), and THESE COUNTRIES DO NOT ALLOW THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY TO PARTICIPATE IN IMPLEMENTING THEIR HEALTH LAWS.
THE TRUTH: The Section 10 of the tobacco control law makes it mandatory to print graphic health warnings (GHW) covering 50 percent upper space of all tobacco packs, cartons & containers but the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare issued a circular (16th March 2016) allowing the tobacco industry to print GHW on the lower half of all tobacco packs, for the interim period, being influenced by the interference of Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers’ Association (BCMA) and other tobacco lobbyists within the Government and beyond.
WHY GHW? Estimates suggest that 100,000 people die of tobacco-related illnesses annually and that nearly 500,000 suffer from related disabilities in Bangladesh, where nearly 43 percent Adults consume tobacco in some form.
Large, picture-based health warning labels on tobacco packets are an essential component of a national strategy to reduce tobacco use.
As advocates for public health and social justice, let us all support the tobacco control law and call on other lawmakers to support the amended law. Let us all call on our legislators together urgently to affirm the Honorable Prime Minister’s commitment to protect and promote the fundamental rights to health and life.
THEREFORE, IT IS TIME FOR US TO BE HEARD AND THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY SHOULD KEEP ITS HANDS OFF OUR LAW!
RAISE YOUR VOICE TO PLACE GRAPHIC HEALTH WARNING ON THE UPPER 50% OF ALL TOBACCO PACKS.
SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION TO LET POLICYMAKERS KNOW THAT WE WANT GRAPHIC HEALTH WARNINGS ON THE UPPER HALF OF ALL TOBACCO PRODUCT PACKETS.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE HUMAN LIVES;
LET’S NOT PROMOTE TOBACCO INDUSTRY.
This petition will be delivered to:
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh