Dhaka City restaurants’observation survey regarding implementation of tobacco control law About 98% of the restaurants are not abiding by tobacco control laws

বিবিসি একাত্তর বিবিসি একাত্তর

প্রকাশক বিবিসি একাত্তর

প্রকাশিত: ১১:০০ অপরাহ্ণ, জুলাই ১, ২০২০

Press Release:

According to Tobacco Control Act (2005) smoking is strictly prohibited in public
place as inside the restaurants. In a survey conducted by Dhaka Ahsania Mission a horrendous picture was seen where 98% out of 100% of the restaurant authorities do not abide by the tobacco control law by the restaurant authorities. On Wednesday, 1 July, 2020, Dhaka Ahsania Mission and Dhaka North City Corporation jointly organised an online zoom meeting. The discussion concerned “Advance of Tobacco Control law implementation and discussion related to the observation of the tobacco control law initiatives in the restaurants of Dhaka City and future workability” was presented by Md. Mukhlesur Rahman, Dhaka Ahsania
Mission Health Sector Assistant Director and Project Coordinator Tobacco Control Project.

On the month of June in 2019 a cross-sectional study was conducted to oversee the implementation of tobacco control laws inside the restaurant operating in Dhaka City. The main purpose of this survey was to see the current implementation of the tobacco control laws. To display the evidence of the survey result of the tobacco control laws regarding the implementation of the restaurants Dhaka North City Corporation Deputy Commissioner, restaurant owners, owners’ association and different stakeholders to implement the laws.

The survey was conducted in 371 restaurants in both Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation areas (211 restaurants in Dhaka North City Corporation and 166 restaurants in Dhaka South City Corporation). There were 245 restaurants which had trade licenses and 126 restaurants which did not have trade licenses. In the 371 restaurants it was observed that 98% of the restaurants were found not to be abiding the overall tobacco control laws. Only 2% of the restaurants did abide by all tobacco control laws. It was also found that amongst the 34% of the restaurants, it was seen that 17.3% of the restaurants allowed direct smoking to its customers inside their restaurants. In 29.4% of the restaurants’ the ashtrays from the cigarettes were found and 2.6% restaurants were found to have smell of smoking. 98% of the restaurants were found to have no notice of highest warning signs mentioned in the law. 92% restaurants were seen to have no notice of highest warning signs. The percentage of law breaking rate in Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation is seen to be 33.2% to 35.6%.

The restaurants which have trade license but are breaking tobacco control laws are 31.4% and restaurant not having trade licenses are 39.7%

Noticeably, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced “Bangladesh should be made tobacco free country”. The Bangladesh government signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2003 and ratified it on 2004. Bangladesh was the first country to sign the agreement. In 2005 the tobacco control law was enacted when in 2013 the law was revised and the rules were implemented in 2015. According to section-4, it is written that smoking has to
be banned in public place. According to rule-7 (Ka) the owners/supervisors/managers would have to keep their public places and public transport completely smoking free. According to rule-8, all public place and public transport it is compulsory to display the notice of highest cautionary notice and as per rule-5 it is written that any kind of advertisement, marketing, promotional and sponsorship activities should be banned.

To ensure implementation of the tobacco control laws Dhaka Ahsania Mission made some recommendations to Dhaka North City Corporation where it was also mentioned about the requirement of budget for implementation of tobacco control laws. It also includes budget for organizing workshops for building the awareness of the restaurant owners and staff about tobacco control, exposing the materials and distribute them, taking steps to display enough highly cautioning notices. Ensuring that all restaurants have their individual trade licenses, their licenses being given and renewed after checking their records regarding tobacco control. It has been further said that a tobacco control monitoring team should be formed which
should monitor the implementation of the activities of tobacco control from time to time. Given authorized person from health sector should always give directions on always monitoring regarding tobacco control, collect monitoring report, always foresee the implementation of tobacco control laws such as supervising the
operation of mobile courts, cancel trade licenses of law breakers, include provisions on trade license books and send verbal/written notices or file cases along other initiatives.

Brigadier General Dr. Md. Mominur Rahman Mamun, Dhaka North City Corporation Chief Health Officer was the chief guest in the program. Iqbal Masud, Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Health Sector started the program by giving the welcoming speech. Besides, Dhaka North City Corporation Secretary, all divisional heads, all regional executives, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Health Officer,
Executive Magistrates, all Assistant Health Officers, Executive Magistrates,
all assistant health officers, all health directors were present along with other representatives of the anti-tobacco agencies.

Dhaka North City Corporation Chief Health Officer said that the corporation
is working relentlessly to implement the tobacco control activities in all public places and restaurants.
He also added that the corporation has taken the recommendations and hould take strong actions regarding tobacco control in restaurants and public places.