Women MPs Push for Swift Passage of Tobacco Control Law Amendments

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Women MPs Push for Swift Passage of Tobacco Control Law Amendments

The Women Parliament Members’ Forum Against Tobacco has strongly urged the swift passage of the tobacco control law amendments proposed by the Ministry of Health. This move aims to align with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.

Nari Maitree organized a discussion meeting on Wednesday at the Krishibid Institute in Dhaka to advocate for this demand. The event provided a platform for the Women Parliament Members’ Forum Against Tobacco to emphasize the urgency of passing the proposed amendments and discuss strategies for achieving a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.

Shabnam Jahan Shila MP, the Convener of the Women Parliament Members’ Forum Against Tobacco, chaired the event. Prominent MPs of the Forum attended, including Mahfuza Sultana (Women’s Seat-6), Zara Jabin Mahbub (Women’s Seat-7), Masuda Siddiq Rozy (Women’s Seat-34), Nazma Aktar (Women’s Seat-37), Anima Mukti Gomes (Women’s Seat-29), Sheikh Anar Koli Putul (Women’s Seat-30), Ashrafunnessa (Women’s Seat-44), Kanan Ara Begum (Women’s Seat-41), Laila Parveen (Women’s Seat-13), Sanjida Khanam (Women’s Seat-32), Farida Yeasmin (Women’s Seat-35), and Hasina Bari Chowdhury (Women’s Seat-31).

Shabnam Jahan Shila highlighted the various activities of the Forum and stressed the deadly impact of tobacco, which causes 161,000 deaths annually in Bangladesh. She emphasized the need for swift legislative action to reduce this death toll and mentioned that the Forum members have sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging the prompt passage of the tobacco control law amendment. The members have also been actively campaigning against tobacco on social media and in mass media to build public opinion.

Other Forum members echoed the demand for swift legislative action, emphasizing their responsibility to protect future generations. They expressed concern over the rising habit of smoking among the youth and stressed the importance of a grassroots social movement to support the anti-tobacco campaign.

The meeting was also attended by Adrienne Pizatella, representative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Maheen Malik, director of the South Asian Programs for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Masuma Alam, president of Nari Maitree. They praised the initiative of the Women MPs and urged them to use their influence to expedite the passage of the draft amendment of the tobacco control law, thereby supporting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to making Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040.

Yasir Monon
Yasir Monon
Online Editor, Business Mirror

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