Tobacco control law is under extreme violation in Chittagong district in ways like smoking at declared public places, tobacco sales to and by minors and tobacco advertisements at Point of Sales, reveals a series of three reports by Saiful Alam, an ATMA member on the leading regional daily Purbokone from November 07, 08 and 10 respectively.

The first part of the series describes the deteriorat condition of public places in Chittagong district. Public places like hospitals, educational institutions, play grounds, government offices, customs houses and even the declared smoking-free zones are occupied by the smokers. High officials smoking cigarettes on their desk is a too common scenario is the government offices. Moreover, the anti-smoking warnings are incomplete and indecently installed.

Besides, notable measures are not adopted against the violators of the amended tobacco control act which is encouraging smokers to smoke at the public places, believes anti-smoking officials of the district. See the detail report in attachment and link:

The second part of the series is all about the TC violation by selling tobacco products to and by minors. Although selling of tobacco to and by minors is banned, there is an opposite view found in the Chittagong district and thus tobacco products are becoming available to younger generation. Majority of the tobacco users are unaware of the fact and the rate of minor smokers is shocking in the district (about 30% of the total smokers). Most of the minor smokers are inspired to smoking with the company they keep or by following the smoking guardians.

Although the amended tobacco control law contains a provision of fine for the law violation, that is not enforced yet, opines anti-tobacco experts working in the district. See the detail report in attachment and link:

The final part of the series exposes the tobacco advertisements in Chittagong district. Although all forms of tobacco advertisements are banned according to the amended tobacco control law, different advertisement techniques adapted in the city and the different part of the district.

Sellers are displaying tobacco packets on their stores and are unaware of the ban of advertisement. Usually the Point of Sales are used as promotional venue and are decorated with dummy tobacco packets, painting outside of the stores with the resemblance of certain tobacco brand, and the tobacco company agents provide different attractive offers to the retail sellers.

A few mobile court drives were undertaken to stop tobacco advertisements which is not enough, believes anti-tobacco activists in Chittagong. See the detail report in attachment and link:

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