Global Epidemic



  • Approximately 43 percent of adults (age 15+) in Bangladesh use tobacco.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 2 percent smoke cigarettes and 6 percent use tobacco products other than cigarettes.
  • Smoking rates are much higher among men than women; an estimated 45 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women smoke.
  • Rates of smokeless tobacco use however, are slightly higher among women then men (28 percent vs. 26 percent).
  • Bidis, inexpensive hand-rolled cigarettes, account for 75 percent of the cigarettes sold in Bangladesh.

Health Consequences

  • In Bangladesh, more than 95,000 people die each year from tobacco-related diseases.
  • Each year, about 1.2 million cases of illnesses are attributed to tobacco.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 42 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 35 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
  • Among adults 63 percent (68 percent men and 30 percent women) are exposed to secondhand smoke at the workplace.

Tobacco Industry

Major tobacco companies in Bangladesh include British American Tobacco, Dhaka Tobacco (under Akij Group), Abul Khair Tobacco, and Nasir Tobacco.

FCTC Status

Bangladesh ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on June 14, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free Places: Smoking is prohibited in certain public places and workplaces such as healthcare and educational facilities and on certain forms of public transport. The law, however, permits the establishment of smoking areas in many other public places and workplaces, including restaurants and hotels. Rules may restrict the form and location of these designated smoking areas, but have not yet been issued.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Tobacco advertising is prohibited in all print and electronic media, including at point-ofsale. Free and discounted tobacco products are prohibited. Sponsorship is prohibited; however charitable donations are permitted so long as tobacco trademarks are not used. The display of tobacco usage in mass media is prohibited, unless essential to the story and accompanied by a warning on the harmful effects of tobacco products.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Graphic health warnings are required to cover at least 50 percent of the main display areas of all tobacco products. The law provides six warnings for smoked products, and two warnings for smokeless products, but additional warnings may be included in the rules. Rules specifying the details of these warnings have not yet been issued. The law also prohibits any brand element on the pack that creates a false impression about the effects and risks on public health, including the use of the terms "light," "mild," "low-tar," and "extra."

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Bangladesh are well below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014