The Tobacco Control (TC) Rules is not yet formulated even after over one and a half year of the passing of the amended tobacco control act in April, 2013. Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) members have long been dealing hard with the TC Rules formulation issue on media to grab attention of the policymakers so that the Rules could get a smooth exposure on light.
The most concerning fact was the implementation of pictorial warning on tobacco products’ packets- whether it should be implemented within nine or 18 months after finalization of the Rules, and finally the health ministry is assigned to decide the implementation time. Here are three latest updates of the TC Rules finalization process by ATMA members.
A report on the Daily Independent on November 18, 2014 by Muhammad Yeasin – an ATMA member reads that the health ministry had drafted the Rules for implementing the amended tobacco control act and accordingly sent that to the law ministry for legal vetting – where the later one recommended a few suggestions in favour of the tobacco industry.
A health ministry official, in condition of anonymity, said that the TC Rules will be finalized soon as the required formalities are complete and the law ministry will issue a relevant circular. See the detail report:
A television report by Dollar Mehedi – an ATMA member, on 71 TV on November 26, 2014 describes that anti-tobacco experts have alleged that the tobacco companies are influencing the TC Rules finalization process.
Although the tobacco control law was amended back in 2013, the Rules to properly implement the law has not been finalized yet, and the draft of the Rules is still under dialogues of the Health and Law Ministries. To see the report, click the following link:
Another article on the Daily Banik Barta on November 25, 2014 by Sushanta Sinha – another ATMA member, reads that the government is spending more for the treatment of the patients infected by tobacco use than it earns revenue from the tobacco companies. The country is losing 57,000 lives annually for tobacco use and about 1.2 million people are getting affected someway.
Although, the amended TC law has made it mandatory to use pictorial warning on tobacco packets to reduce tobacco users (which has already been made obligatory in about 60 countries), all such rigid provisions are inactive and could not be enforced for the want of the Rules, states the report, and also suggest formulating the Rules as early as possible to stop the death rally caused for tobacco across the country. See the detail report: