Initiatives of Sirajganj district administration to tobacco control in Bangladesh
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Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh
Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, Manager – Advocacy and Communication, Bangladesh
Swamaswar (anti tobacco newsletter), Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliance, Bangladesh
Development for Disadvantaged People (DDP), Bangladesh
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A47
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Bangladesh passed 'Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act 2005' that further amended on 29 April 2013 for more befitting to FCTC, including Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) on 50% of tobacco packets, ban on all of Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) and increases definition of public places etc. Amended law significantly increases fine for violation of law.
Law implementation became big challenge due to interference of Tobacco Industries (TIs), lack of coordination among District Taskforce etc. Tobacco advertisements at Point of Sales (PoS), improper GHW and smoking in public places/transports were rampant.

Intervention or response:
District Administration (DA) of Sirajganj took various initiatives with the help of NGOs to ensure implementation of law, including seminars with stakeholders, disseminate law gazettes among owners of PoS and owners of public places. Based on the letter from district administration; all high schools organized seminar on tobacco control law.
DA conducts Mobile Courts (type of summary trial, conducted by Executive Magistrates at the place of offence by pronouncing spot punishment like imprisonment, fine etc.) for effective implementation of law at the PoS, public places, and factories/offices of TIs. Mobile courts removed tobacco advertisements from PoS and destroyed those materials publicly.

Results and lessons learnt:
All of tobacco advertisements from PoS had been removed, smoke free environments at public places are ensured, TIs were fined and became careful to obey law. On the basis of tremendous work on law implementation, Sirajganj DA rewarded 'Best District in tobacco control' in 2015. This positive example has been transmitted into all other district in Rajshahi division through a letter from Divisional Head of Administration.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
As DA holds full legal power on law implementation at district level, so, if concern ministry instructed every DA, it will ensure proper implementation of law at all districts in Bangladesh.

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