Unmask Tobacco Industry Interferences at the University Campuses

Different multi-national tobacco industries do aggressive brand promotion activities targeting the educational institutions in Bangladesh bypassing the Tobacco Product Usage (Control) Act 2005. The industries do such activities disguising the name of “Talent Hunt” and sometimes the university authorities do not aware of their ill motives. Keeping the prevailing situation, the American International University-Bangladesh, Bangladesh Tobacco Control Research Network (BTCRN), and Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP) jointly organized a University-based Lecture Program on Tobacco Control at the AIUB Auditorium on December 15, 2022.

Mr. Hossain Ali Khondoker, Coordinator (Additional Secretary), National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare attended the program as the chief guest while Prof. Dr. Tazul Islam, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, American International University- Bangladesh attend the program as the Chairperson. Prof. Shah Monir Hossain, Senior Advisor, BTCRN/BCCP and former Director General, Directorate General of Health Services attended it as the guest of honor. Besides, the Registrar, Deans, and Professors of different departments attended the program.

Renowned tobacco control experts from the Bloomberg Initiative partner and grantee organizations made brief presentations on different tobacco control issues including Introduction to Tobacco Control: Global and Local Experience; Health Effects of Quitting Smoking: “Is it Too Late?”; Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005 and its Amendment 2013; Tobacco industry interferences targeting educational institutions; and Foundation for a Smoke-free World- Another trap of tobacco industry. An interactive question/answer session was held in between the presentations.

Mr. Hossain Ali Khondoker, the chief guest of the program, briefly mentioned the government’s initiatives to fulfill the commitment of the Honorable Prime Minister, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh making Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. In his speech, Prof. Dr. Tazul Islam, the chairperson of the program, reiterated his commitment to making the AIUB campus smoke-free. He also committed not to entertain any tobacco industry at their university premises.  

More than 115 students and faculties from different departments attended the program.