Knowledge for Progress

Mass Media on Tobacco Control: Recent Trends (May 14-April 15)

Mass media is playing important roles in gradual increase and development of anti-tobacco movements in Bangladesh. It played vigorous roles in TC law amendment, implementation, creating public opinion against tobacco farming, tobacco companies’ ill tactics exposing and other tobacco control activities including passing of TC Rules – 2015. It was overseer for tobacco control in past years and also cared other tobacco control issue that is proven by recent increase of reports on tobacco control issues.

PROGGA’s media monitoring data from May 2014 – April 2015 shows that there were 6150 pieces of tobacco related – 37.5 percent more comparing the last year (May 2013 – April 2014). Media pieces on almost all tobacco control issues have increased substantially, and Tobacco Tax was the most highlighted one with 1119 pieces while it was 480 in last year referring the twice increase in current season. Mass media was active too over informing ban of smoking at public places and transports and the reports are growing, the number is 915 now which is slightly more than last year. Besides, 455 media pieces covered TI Interference, Accountability and CSR issue and it was 251 in last period. TC Law produces 368 pieces now and produced 387 in last year because the law was under revision then. However, it occupied a notable period now as TC Rules underwent bureaucratic complexities. Besides, Tobacco and Health, TAPS ban, Tobacco Farming and other issues have also been highlighted in the season. Significant qualitative changes occurred – 38 editorials published on in this season which was only 21 in the last. Sixty three (63) more TV reports were aired in this season.

In controlling tobacco supply and demand effectively, media has been assisting the government and anti-tobacco activists productively. National Budget is ahead and tobacco companies are trying hard to reduce tax on tobacco products like the past years. They held secret meetings with the NBR, have deployed helpless workers to protest tobacco tax hike. For tax discount, they published misinformation on media. Such evil tactics should be stopped. Mass media can play an effective role in creating anti-tobacco awareness.

Periodical ‘Tamaker Khabor’

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The periodical is a compilation of selected published/aired media pieces of ATMA members. Along with the compilation, the periodicals also have analysis of the trends and issues of tobacco control coverage generated in the particular quarter. The media pieces were selected by an editorial group consisted of nine ATMA members.

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