Social media campaign for increasing tobacco tax: An advocacy tool for creating awareness and policy influence
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Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Sarker Shams Bin Sharif   

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A241
Bangladesh has 30 million users on Facebook and the number is increasing day by day. Evidence shows that policymakers in Bangladesh are also using Facebook. These policymakers hold the key to increase tax on tobacco products. Studies show that an increased tax on tobacco is linked to lower consumption. A Facebook campaign alongside other events was required to reach these policymakers along with other relevant stakeholders

To create awareness among policymakers about the effectiveness of an increased tax on tobacco products on both smoked and smokeless tobacco

CTFK and its country partners ran a social media campaign from April to July during the preparation and the placement of the budget proposal for 2018-2019 fiscal year- targeting the Finance Ministry and other relevant ministries. More than 30 visuals and 3 videos of victims entitled “victims of addiction” were circulated through Facebook pages. A campaign brand “Dam Baran Tamaker Jibon Bachan Amader” (raise tobacco price and save our lives) was created and circulated through all the social media posts. Geographical targeting was used to reach the target audiences.

The social media campaign created 70 million views and 2 million engagements- 90 percent of which were in Dhaka specifically where the relevant ministries are. The simplified messaging and the effective brand design were used to mobilize the young people in three divisional cities including the capital. These were later amplified through social media as part of the campaign. Most importantly, the tobacco tax was increased on two high tiers of cigarettes. SLT came under the MRP system to be taxed under the same tobacco tax structure as with cigarettes and bidi.

Social media is a useful advocacy tool to supplement events and to influence policy

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