Ban cigarette filters, vaporisers to address plastic pollution: PROGGA

Progga (Knowledge for Progress), a research and advocacy organisation as well as a member of Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA), has urged the government to ban cigarette filters and vaporisers to address plastic pollution.

It sent a letter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in this regard, reads a press release.

The letter upheld a landmark decision on the implementation of Article 18 (Protection of the Environment) adopted by the 183 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) Conference of the Parties (COP10), held on 10 February 2024.

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WHO has recommended an immediate ban on cigarette filters and vaporizers as they are "unnecessary, avoidable and problematic, single-use plastics that are widely spread in the environment, killing microorganisms and marine life, as well as polluting oceans".

Several Parties have already taken initiatives in terms of banning disposable vapes (Australia, UK), taxing the tobacco industry (Benin, Chad and Gambia), and calling for a ban on cigarette filters (Belgium, Netherlands).

ABM Zubair, executive director of Progga said, "On average, a staggering 71 billion cigarette filters are tossed into the environment each year in Bangladesh. Cigarette filter takes more than a decade to degrade and release more than 7,000 chemical substances in the process. To tackle plastic pollution, the government should ban the use of cigarette filters and vaporisers."

News Source: The Business Standard, 06 March 2024