Associated Press

Dhaka, March 14:

Bangladesh’s Parliament passed a bill restricting smoking in public places and banning tobacco product advertising, the government said today. Parliament passed the legislation yesterday to “discourage smoking and sale of cigarettes and tobacco products” in the country, it said. It will become law after being signed by the country’s mostly ceremonial president, who signs all bills passed by Parliament. Smoking in public places like schools, government offices and airports will be banned and violators will face a fine of 50 takas ($0.80). Officials, however, will be allowed to designate special areas for smokers under the law. The bill also prohibits tobacco advertisements. Tobacco companies will be banned from giving out free samples or sponsoring public events. Offenders could face three months in jail and a fine of 1,000 takas ($16). Bangladesh is a signatory of a global treaty to reduce tobacco consumption — the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — which became binding international law in February.