Standard packaging to ensure effective enforcement of graphical health warning on smokeless tobacco products: Current status and gaps in Bangladesh
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Tobacco Control and Research Cell, Dhaka International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
National Tobacco Control Cell, Health Service Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Union, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Farhana Zaman   

Tobacco Control and Research Cell, Dhaka International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A104
Among adults aged 15 years and above, the consumption rate of Smokeless Tobacco products is 20.6% or 22 million that higher than smoking (18.0% or 19.2 million) in Bangladesh (GATS 2017). Graphical Health Warnings (GHW) on both sides of all tobacco products covering 50% or more surface area imposed from 19th March 2016 as per amendment of the Smoking and Tobacco Products Uses (Control) Act 2005 in 2013 and its Rules in 2015. This law made mandatory to write “approved for selling only in Bangladesh” should also be written in all tobacco packs.

To identify the gaps on enforcement GHWs (section 10 of tobacco control law) in the most common SLT products; zarda/smashed tobacco with betel leaf and gul/tobacco powder in lower gum.

Tobacco Control and Research Cell (TCRC) of the Dhaka International University conducted survey from October 2018 to September 2019. Packets of smokeless tobacco products collected from 295 wholesale shops situated in the 131 bazaars (market area) in the 32 district towns. These 295 wholesale shops distributed/sale SLT products in all other local and small shops of these districts.

GHWs enforcement on the SLT products packs are very weak as only 3% zarda (out of 667) and none gul packs comply with the law. - Size vary from 5 gram to 100 grams, the small size of packs doesn’t have space for GHWs and written text. 75% of zarda’s packs and 85% gul packs doesn’t provide the sentences “approved for selling only in Bangladesh”. - Packing materials (such as tins, plastics, polythene, paper) is another problem that can address by standard and unique packets.

Standard packaging of SLT products based on size can ensure full compliance of TC law. TCRC initiated sensitizing concerned government agencies with these findings to make standard packaging for tobacco products.