Tobacco users have declined by eight per cent in Bangladesh in the last eight years, a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017 showed indicating that anti-tobacco measures yielded the benefits.
“It showed that at present the consumption rate among the population aged 15 is 35.3 per cent which was 43.3 pct in 2009,” said the survey.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim today unveiled the factsheet of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017 conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the US at the ministry conference room at the Secretariat in the city.
The consumption rate significantly reduced among men — from 58 percent to 46 percent. Among women, it reduced to only 25.2 percent from the previous 28.7 percent as the smokeless tobacco which women mostly chew did not decrease compared to smoking products.
Speaking on the occasion, Nasim said the result is the outcome of the tireless efforts of the government for reducing the tobacco consumption rate among people.
Till now the government has taken a number of measures including amendment of Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005, imposing health development sub charge in the budget of 2014-15 financial year, implementing Tobacco Product and Tobacco Control Policy in 2015, said the minister.
Nasim said, though the rate of consumption reduced in both men and women, the decline is significantly more among men.
Around 19.2 million tobacco users (18.7pct) use smoked tobacco products while 22 million people (920.6 pct) use the smokeless tobacco, he said.
Among those who use smoked tobacco products 15m (14 pct) use cigarette and 5.3 m (5 pct) use bidi and 20m (18.7 pct) smokeless users used betel quid with tobacco while 3.9 m (3.6 pct) use gul, added the survey.
State Minister Zahid Maleque, Secretary Sirajul Huq, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, National Anti-tuberculosis Association of Bangladesh (NATAB) president Mozaffar Hossain Paltu and representatives from different foreign organisations were present on the occasion.