Local government initiatives for tobacco control in Bangladesh: A case study of Savar municipality
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Savar Municipality, Savar, Bangladesh
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, United States
Sharf Uddin A. Choudhury   

Savar Municipality, Dhaka, Savar, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A37
The Government of Bangladesh enacted Tobacco Control (TC) law and smoking has been prohibited in public places and public transports. According to the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017, in Bangladesh 35.3% of adults use tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoking (SHS) is also very high in public places and public transport. In Bangladesh, most of the public places are somehow controlled, regulated, supervised or monitored by local government institutions (LGI). So LGIs have a tremendous role to protect people from SHS at public places.

To protect citizens of Savar municipality from tobacco harms in public places and sensitize policymakers to adopt a common guideline for LGIs’ to strengthen TC activities in Bangladesh.

Sensitizing events were held with municipal authorities and officials and public place authorities. Organized awareness programs were held with private hospitals and clinic owner associations, restaurant owner and shop owner associations. “No smoking” signage, poster, leaflet were developed and distributed among stakeholders. Partnerships were made with NGOs while local Members of Parliament were sensitized to tobacco control issues.

Savar municipality allocated funds from its own resources to undertake and implement tobacco control activities. A number of citizens were aware of the harms of tobacco. The municipal building was declared tobacco free. Initiative has been taken to introduce licensing for selling tobacco products. Authorized officers are monitoring TC law compliance. Authorities of public places were aware and “no smoking” signage displayed at public places. Magistrates are conducting mobile courts. The law on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship at points of sale are mostly complied with.

Bangladesh faces the challenge of tobacco use related disease and death every day. As it is a man-made problem, it can be prevented if proper actions are taken by the government. Local government divisions should adopt a common model/guideline for LGIs’ for proper implementation of TC law in Bangladesh.