Small initiative, big success
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Pratysha Anti Drug's Club, Tobacco Control, Bangladesh
Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliance (BATA), Policy Advocacy, Networking, Capacity Building, Bangladesh
Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, Health Rights and Tobacco Control, Bangladesh
Bangladesh Anti Tobacco Alliance (BATA), Communication and Policy Advocacy, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A155
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Background and challenges to implementation:
We often believe that tobacco control requires major resources. We certainly do need resources, but some important successes can be achieved even with very moderate resources, if we have the right combination of access, hard work, and strategic behaviour. In Bangladesh there are still major gaps to the implementation of the tobacco control law, specifically smoke-free places.

Intervention or response:
Pratyasha Anti-Drug Club is a youth-based NGO with almost no funding but a large membership. We also have had a good relationship with the City Corporations of Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka, with about 18 million inhabitants. We convinced the city corporations to give us permission to place smoke-free signboards at different major places visited by large numbers of people, such as the national zoo, national library, children parks, garden and a local fort/park. We also convinced restaurants throughout the city to place smoke-free signs on their premises and to remove all ashtrays.

Results and lessons learnt:
A number of small and large venues have become smoke-free as a result of our initiative. With a population of about 15 million people, our initiative is likely to have reached over a million people. This is a huge success especially given the lack of funding behind it.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
It is vital to the long-term sustainability of tobacco control that we succeed in gaining sustainable funding, particularly through a surcharge on tobacco products. But it is also important to remember that not all activities require major funding in order to succeed. We have shown that agile and strategic networking can achieve important successes.

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