Enforcement of Consumers’ Right law demanded to tame tobacco use

Published : 22 Mar 2023 10:12 PM

Anti-tobacco activists, researchers on tobacco control and the government officials of the related institutions on Wednesday demanded enforcement of the ‘Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009’ to control tobacco use in the country. They made this demand at a discussion titled ‘Role of Consumers’ Rights Act in Tobacco Control’, organised by the Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC) of Dhaka International University (DIU) at a hotel in the capital's Gulshan area.

According to the Consumer Rights Protection Act, any wrapped or packaged tobacco product cannot be sold by opening the wrapper or breaking the package. However, single stick cigarette sale continues in the country which is in violation of the law.  

Tobacco companies also allegedly are not complying with the law to mention manufacturing and expiry date in the packet of their product, which can pose fatal health risks to the consumers. 

Hossain Ali Khandaker, an additional secretary and coordinator of the National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) of the Health Ministry spoke the discussion as the chief guest while Manzoor Mohammad Shahriar, director at the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, Rumana Yeamin Ferdousi, Deputy Secretary at the Law Ministry, Mohammad Hasib Sarker, an executive magistrate at Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) were spoke at the discussion among others.

Farhana Zaman Liza, project manager at TCRC, presented the keynote speech while Helal Ahmed, acting coordinator of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) presided over the discussion.

In his speech, Hossain Ali Khandaker said that BSTI and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection can take steps to control tobacco usase through using existing laws.