Imposing 1% health development surcharge (HDS) to protect public health due to public demand through strong policy advocacy
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Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliance (BATA), Tobacco Control, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A681
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Notwithstanding multiple achievements in tobacco control (FCTC ratification, law enactment-2005, formation of National, District and Upazila Task Force, increasing tobacco tax regularly, law amendment-2013 and implementation of GHW), Bangladesh has been facing a challenge of sustainable funding on tobacco control. Actually tobacco control activities are managed with the help of WHO and with the help of BI which is really inadequate.

Intervention or response:
Representatives of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance visited Health Promotion Foundation, Thailand. With gained experience they conducted advocacy with policy makers, electronic and print media, executives of the government and political leaders for imposition of 2% surcharges on all tobacco products. Moreover, various activities have been adopted for creating public opinion. At one point, in the faces of challenges from tobacco companies, the activists have been able to convince the government that surcharges should be imposed from the harmful product for long-term tobacco control. Taxes, VAT and surcharges will increase if the price of cigarettes increases but revenue will not decrease. In order to protect public health and create sustainable funding for Tobacco Control to achieve SDG target, this policy provides policy-compliance with the provision of HDS.

Results and lessons learnt:
Given priority to public health, Government has imposed 1% HDS on all tobacco products in 2013-14 fiscal year. Presently the fund has risen up to 6 billion taka which will increase gradually every year. The implementation of a policy on HDS management is in the final stage. At present, financial crisis of NTCC has been removed. As a result, sustainable fund has been formed in Tobacco Control through which SDG-3 will be implemented.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
1% surcharge will accelerate implementation of SDG targets as a sustainable fund for public health development and management of tobacco control activities.