The Toll of Tobacco in Bangladesh | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Tobacco Consumption

  • 35.3% of all adults (age 15+) use any tobacco products (men 46.0%; women 25.2%).1
    • 18.0% smoke tobacco (men 36.2%; women 0.8%)
    • 20.6% of adults use smokeless tobacco (men 16.2%; women 24.8%)
  • Bidis are cheaper, handmade cigarettes that are popular among the poor in Bangladesh. Over a quarter of Bangladeshi adult smokers (5.0% of adults overall) consume bidis.1
  • Among youth (ages 13–15), 6.9% use tobacco in any form (boys 9.2%; girls 2.8%).2
    • 2.9% currently smoke tobacco (boys 4.0%; girls 1.1%)
    • 4.5% use smokeless tobacco products (boys 5.9%; girls 2.0%)

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

  • 42.7% of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace, 49.7% of adults who visit restaurants are exposed while visiting, and 44.0% of adults are exposed to secondhand smoke when using public transport.1
  • 59.0% of youth (ages 13–15) are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 31.1% of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.2

Health Consequences

  • Tobacco killed nearly 126,000 people in Bangladesh in 2018, accounting for 13.5% of all deaths in the country.3
  • There are currently about 1.5 million adults suffering from tobacco-attributable illness in Bangladesh.3
  • More than 61,000 children (below age 15) are suffering from diseases caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.3
  • Compared to never users, tobacco users have a 57% higher risk of developing a tobacco-related disease such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, COPD, or lung cancer, and a 19% higher risk of tobacco-related cancer.3

Costs to Society

  • In 2018, the total economic cost of tobacco-related death and disease in Bangladesh was BDT 305.6 billion (USD 3.6 billion), or 1.4% of the nation’s GDP that year.3
    • The direct healthcare costs from treating tobacco-related diseases totaled BDT 84 billion, while the remaining BDT 221.7 billion was due to lost productivity from tobacco-attributable premature death and disability.
    • Of the total costs attributable to tobacco, 13.5% were caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Males between the age of 25–69 who have smoked are 70% more likely to die from tobacco-related diseases during their prime productive years than males in the same age group who have never smoked.4

Tobacco Industry

The two major tobacco companies in Bangladesh include British American Tobacco, which holds 66.6% of the cigarette market by volume, and Dhaka Tobacco Industries (under Akij Group), with 20.5% of the cigarette market. Philip Morris International distributes its products in Bangladesh through Dhaka Tobacco Industries, and Japan Tobacco Inc boosted its presence by acquiring Akij Group in 2018. Smaller domestic companies include Abul Khair Leaf Tobacco, Alpha Tobacco Company, Nasir Gold Tobacco Company, and Sonali Tobacco. In 2018, 91.6 billion cigarettes were sold in Bangladesh.4

FCTC Status

Bangladesh ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on June 14, 2004. The treaty went into effect on February 27, 2005.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For a summary of measures on smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, packaging and labeling, and taxation and price, download the Bangladesh Tobacco Control Policy Status fact sheet. For more information visit the Tobacco Control Laws website.

1 Bangladesh Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017.
2 Bangladesh Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2013.
3 Faruque GM et al. The economic cost of tobacco in Bangladesh: A health cost approach. Bangladesh Cancer Society. 2019 February 23.
4 Euromonitor International, 2019.

Last updated Sept. 14, 2021