Monitoring compliance with the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion at the point of sale in Bangladesh (2017)
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National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, Epidemiology and Research, Bangladesh
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, International Research, United States of America
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, International Advocacy, Bangladesh
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, International Legal Consortium, United States of America
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, International Advocacy, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A198
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Bangladesh amended its comprehensive tobacco control law in 2013, banning all direct and indirect tobacco advertising and promotion at points of sale (POS). While the law does not explicitly ban POS tobacco product display, legal interpretation considers it to be covered as a form of advertising. The objective of this study is to monitor compliance with the ban on tobacco POS advertising and promotion, including product display in Bangladesh.

Monitoring was conducted in Dhaka in May 2017 as a pilot study. Data was collected from a convenience sample (n=46) of POS including supermarkets, groceries, general stores, tobacco shops, roadside sellers, mobile vendors, tea shops, and restaurants, located in high and low-income areas. An observational checklist was used to collect data on the presence of: (1) different types of advertising and promotion, and (2) tobacco product displays.

Among all POS visited, 85% sold cigarettes, 50% sold smokeless tobacco, and 20% sold bidis. Nearly all POS (87%) had at least one type of tobacco advertising, promotion, or product display. Almost half (48%) of POS had advertising (including posters, stickers, signs, and mockup packs), and few (13%) had promotions (including discounts and free gifts with purchase of tobacco products). Slightly over three quarters of POS (76%) displayed any tobacco products. Tobacco products were displayed mostly in organized shelves or by laying them out on a tray or table, and a few had illuminated displays, hanging displays, or power walls (organized shelves of cigarettes on the wall behind the cash register).

Findings of this pilot study showed high levels of violations of Bangladesh's ban on tobacco POS advertising, promotion, and product display in Dhaka. Authorities should actively monitor and strictly enforce the ban, and should consider amending the law to explicitly ban POS tobacco product display for greater clarity.

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