A total of 42.7 per cent people in the country are being affected by passive smoking in their workplaces, according to a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017.
“Tobacco users have declined by 20.3 per cent in Bangladesh in last seven years. In 2009 the rate was 63 per cent and in 2007 it was 42.7,” the survey said.
Tobacco consumers have also declined by eight per cent in the last eight years which indicated 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.
The GATS survey was 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.
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.
The result is the outcome of the tireless efforts of the government for reducing the tobacco consumption rate among people, Director General (DG) of Director General Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad told BSS.
Till now the government has taken a number of measures, including amendment of Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005, imposition of health development sub-charge in the budget of 2014-15 financial year, implementation of Tobacco Product and Tobacco Control Policy in 2015, he said.
The study 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, the study added.
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, it added.