Published:  12:00 AM, 20 March 2017

50% tobacco products defy GHW compliance

Although one year has already passed, health warning with picture is not being used on tobacco products' packets according to the Tobacco Control Law Rules-2015.  Tobacco companies are not following the rules for unknown reason. They are doing their businesses violating rules one after another. Even they are continuing different publicities of tobacco goods in different techniques though publicity of tobacco goods has completely been banned by the government. Government has made the Tobacco Control Law Rules-2015 effective from March 19, 2015 with the directive that graphical health warning (GHW) must be used on half portion of the packet, carton and container of all tobacco products. But only 50 per cent tobacco companies in the country are following cent per cent directive, while rest others are still non-compliance with it. Of them, the ratio of Bidi is much worse.

Health experts say, "The rules are not being followed due to lack of proper monitoring and necessary drives of mobile courts. Every-body knows that it is a punitive offense. However, they are violating the rules under the nose of concerned law enforcers." It is learnt from a survey conducted by non-government organization 'Progga' that  50 per cent of tobacco goods are being marketed without using graphical health warning. Many tobacco goods-sellers are still unaware about the rules, while many others do not agree to follow the rules due to lax-vigilance of concerned authorities.

On the other hand, publicity by advertisements of different tobacco products is going on unabated. Tobacco companies under various techniques are  doing their publicities. They are providing several types of attractive banners with price rates to the tobacco outlets in which people are being encouraged to purchase the harmful tobacco products.

During a recent visit to different areas in the city, this correspondent found that bidi and cigarette shopkeepers are displaying several sorts of banners, posters and leaflets of major brands of tobacco to show the rates of tobacco goods.

While talking, many people have said this is one kind of publicity of tobacco goods. Tobacco companies are taking such publicity techniques after imposing the ban. They have just changed their techniques, not other things, they claimed.

Health experts say government should take stern action against the rules' violators. Besides, making people aware against harmful effects of tobacco is a must. Apart from the government, the literate section of society should come forward in this regard.

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