New tobacco prevalence data were issued at the launching of a new Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh. The findings indicate a significant reduction on all tobacco use, from 43.3% in 2009 to 35.3% in 2017 (8 percentage points).
The reduction in prevalence is the result of successful implementation of the WHO FCTC requirements, especially in relation to health warnings and tobacco taxation. Prevalence on smoked tobacco reduced from 23% (44.7% of men, 1.5% of women) in 2009 to 18% (36.2% of men, 0.8% of women) in 2017. More than half of tobacco users planned to or were thinking about quitting, and received advice by a health care provider. The percentage of adults that reported exposure to tobacco smoke at the workplace has reduced from 63 to 43%, but further efforts are needed to ensure better protection from environmental tobacco smoke.
However, there is still much to improve. The tobacco use patterns show a notable gender gap: in smoked tobacco, 36.2% of men smoke tobacco, versus 0.8% of women; on the other hand, 16.2% of men use smokeless tobacco, versus 24.8% of women. Tobacco control strategies, following the WHO FCTC mandates, provide the opportunity to respond to the peculiarities in tobacco epidemic.
The new findings also call for strengthening the control of smokeless tobacco products. The WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Global Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco, based in India, could be instrumental in assisting Bangladesh to move forward in this area.
For the full GATS report, please,check: http://www.searo.who.int/bangladesh/gatsbangladesh2017fs14aug2018.pdf