causes a number of serious illnesses, such as
heart diseases, stroke, cancer, Burger's and
respiratory diseases. Many developed countries
have successfully reduced tobacco use by implementing
comprehensive tobacco control policies. In Bangladesh,
however, the awareness level about the harmful
effects of tobacco is low. Traditionally, Bangladeshi
men smoke cigarettes, biri and hukka, and chew
tobacco leaf with betel quid (pan). However,
women usually do not smoke but chew tobacco
About half of Bangladeshi men and one-fifth
of women use tobacco in either smoking or smokeless
(more information: http://www.who.int/ncd/surveillance/surveillance_publications.htm)
form. Although there is no comprehensive tobacco
control policy or legislation, a few measures
currently are being enforced in the country:
warning labels on cigarette/biri packets, banning
of advertising in electronic media and specific
locations, prohibitions of smoking in public
places and transports. The situation has been
improving because of these measures.
The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has targeted
tobacco as a modifiable risk factor for non-communicable
diseases prevention in its conceptual framework
for "Health Nutrition and Population Sector
Programme" 2003 - 2006. Some organisations
of GOB have been educating people about the
harmful effects of tobacco, and some NGOs are
organising anti-tobacco campaigns. On the other
hand, tobacco companies are promoting their
products by hoisting attractive billboards,
and publishing advertisements in newspapers
and magazines. A few private satellite TV channels
still telecast advertisements on tobacco.
Combined anti-tobacco activities of GoB and
NGOs have created a modest momentum in the country.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh became the first country
to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (FCTC) in South-East Asia. Efforts are
now needed to be intensified to expedite the
process of ratification of the FCTC as well
as enacting an appropriate anti-tobacco legislation
conforming to the provisions of the FCTC.
WHO provides technical and financial support
- Establish and strengthen National Tobacco
- Create awareness among people about harmful
effects of tobacco, help tobacco cessation
and observe World No Tobacco Day.
- Establish National Tobacco Control Surveillance
- Situation analysis and advocacy for enacting
and enforcement of anti-tobacco legislation.
- Study on tobacco consumption and its health
cost to facilitate evidence-based policy decisions.
Why is tobacco a public health priority? (http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/)
The Tobacco Atlas (http://www.who.int/tobacco/statistics/tobacco_atlas/en/)
Framework convention on tobacco control (http://www.who.int/tobacco/fctc/en/)