There are 37.8 million tobacco users in Bangladesh, making it the sixth largest consumer market for tobacco in the world (behind China, India, Indonesia, US, and Russia).
Approximately 19.2 million people ages 15 and older currently smoke tobacco (15 million cigarette users and 4.2 million bidi users). Approximately 22 million people ages 15 and older use smokeless tobacco (23.5% of the adult population)
Tobacco use is higher in rural areas (37.1%), among those from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, and among those with lower levels of education.
Tobacco use is also considerably higher among men (46.0%) compared to women (25.2%).
Health and Economic Burden From Tobacco Use
In 2018, tobacco use accounted for more than 126,000 deaths, or 13.5% of all deaths in the country.
More than 24,000 deaths were attributed to secondhand smoking exposure.
Tobacco causes a substantial economic burden, totaling an estimated USD 3.6 billion annually.
Bangladesh signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2004, thereby affirming its commitment to use the WHO’s MPOWER measures to curb tobacco use.
In that vein, the country has implemented MPOWER measures to varying degree. It is considered to have ‘completed’ implementing measures for monitoring tobacco use, ‘moderately completed’ measures for mass media, advertising and taxation to reduce tobacco use, and only ‘minimally completed’ implementing smoke-free environments and cessation programs.