Global Epidemic

Bangladesh

Consumption

  • 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 environments: Smoking is completely banned in health-care facilities and educational facilities. Smoking is also banned in other workplaces and public places, however the law allows for designated smoking areas.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Despite statements in the national law that "tobacco advertisement is prohibited in any form," the current law does not prohibit advertising at point of sale and promotional activities such as "corporate social responsibility" advertising, brand-stretching, and promotional discounts.

Warning labels: Health warnings do not effectively warn smokers about smoking and are not applied to smokeless tobacco. The law mandates written warnings that cover 30% of the front and back of the package; six rotating warnings are used in 6-month rotations. Given the high adult illiteracy rate (49%) and high rate of persons who consume smokeless tobacco (36% male, 56% female), pictorial warnings and comprehensive coverage of all tobacco brands is necessary.

Tobacco taxes: Tobacco taxes have gradually increased over the last two years. The most popular brand of cigarettes is currently taxed at 68%.

Updated: August 2013