Tobacco Control Project

Raising Women’s Voice in protecting Public Health mobilizing women for demanding Law amendment and increasing Tax
Meeting with MPs

Tobacco Control Project

Raising Women’s Voice in protecting Public Health mobilizing women for demanding Law amendment and increasing Tax

Bangladesh is one of the largest tobacco-consuming countries in the world, where an estimated 46 million adults were users of a variety of smoked and/or smokeless tobacco products. Bangladesh ratified the WHO FCTC in 2004, and in 2005, enacted the Smoking and Using of Tobacco Products (Control) Act. The law was amended in 2013. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2017: 43.9 per cent (38.4 m) of non-smoker adults (15+) were exposed to Secondhand smoke (SHS) at different public places including 49.7 per cent exposed to SHS at restaurants and which is a serious public health threat. Bangladesh passed amendments to the law in 2013. They included bringing smokeless tobacco DocuSign Envelope ID: 5EDE179D-FD79-4450-8D7A-40C034957BBF products under the ambit of the law, with prohibition of advertising and mandatory large, graphic health warnings on smokeless tobacco packaging. Now that the law covers smokeless tobacco products, roughly 21 million women, previously overlooked, will be warned about the deadly effects of tobacco use. The project has opportunities to address tobacco use among women. For example, it could take part in an exercise to assess implementation of the FCTC in Bangladesh and in the process, improve its understanding of what further improvements in tobacco control policy can be made, including policies that address tobacco use prevalence among women, children and vulnerable socioeconomic groups. Women are being affected by Passive Smoking in workplaces, private institutions, public places and public transports. In order to save women and children law development and high taxation on all tobacco products including chewable tobacco products. While we visiting different public places, including some hospitals, it was seen that many people were smoking openly there. It has been observed that smoking in public places is going on persistent not only for poor enforcement of the existing tobacco control law that banned smoking in public places and public transport but also for an ambiguity in the existing law. Section 7 (1) of the law stipulates that the owner, caretaker or controller or manager of public places and any owner, caretaker, controller or manager of the public vehicles may mark off or specify the place for smoking. But if there is any designated smoking area in a public place or transport, smoke from it can easily spread to other areas. As a result, nonsmokers visiting the public places are also at health risk. For this reason, it is important to ban the designated smoking area in public places of Bangladesh. The current law needs to be amended to keep non-smokers safe from second-hand smoking. No Designated Smoking Areas (DSA) should be kept in any public place, public transports, parks, shopping malls, and any other public places where women, children and girls roam freely.

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Tobacco Control Project

Raising Women’s Voice in protecting Public Health mobilizing women for demanding Law amendment and increasing Tax

Project Goal:

  • To fulfill the vision of the Honorable Prime Minister “Tobacco free Bangladesh by 2040

Specific Objectives:

  • Objective 1: Mobilize and organize grassroots groups to augment women’s voices to build support national policy efforts on law amendment and tax.
  • Objective 2: Building a caucus of women Parliamentarians and policy makers to support tobacco control policies to protect women and girls’ health.
  • Objective 3: Build voices of municipal and local government leaders to support national tobacco control policy goals.
  • Objective 4: Engaging with media & public campaigns to support law amendment and increasing tobacco tax.

Major Activities:

  • Create a women group in social media to build support national policy efforts on law amendment and tax.
  • Mobilizing female social media influencers and capacitate them for bring the change in women’s attitude and influence them through social media for demanding the change of TC law.
  • Forming one national level forum with women member of parliaments who will support the movement and demand for law amendment and tax raising of tobacco products
  • National Level Advocacy meeting/workshop with women Parliamentarian members, policy makers to contribute the national TC policy amendment and tax increasing on tobacco products with the support of women groups;
  • Organize national discussion session/seminar including the women parliamentarians and secretariats from Health Ministry, Law Ministry, NBR and Cabinet Division representatives to support the law amendment and tax raising.
  • Advocacy with NBR and Finance Minister for raising tobacco tax in the national budget.
  • Organize Inter-Ministerial and multi-stakeholders’ meetings to advocate for Policy Change
  • Arrange national workshop with local government leaders consisting of women councilors, reserve women councilors, City Corporation’s women leaders to support national tobacco control policy;
  • Organize press conference with young and heath journalists to reach out to the national level policy makers.


  • A national-level advocacy meeting was held, bringing together women parliamentarians, policymakers, and women’s groups to contribute to the amendment of the national Tobacco Control policy. Women members of the Bangladesh National Parliament and Nari Maitree collaborated to advocate for the swift approval of the draft amendment to the Tobacco Control Act, aligning with the Prime Minister’s vision of making Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. The challenges posed by tobacco usage were acknowledged, emphasizing the commitment of the Prime Minister. The Ministry of Health and Family Planning has proposed amendments to strengthen the existing tobacco control law. The women parliamentarians expressed their full support for the draft amendment and pledged to advocate for its passage. The progress of the amendment was updated, indicating that it has been submitted for cabinet approval and is anticipated to be passed soon. The collective efforts of these stakeholders aim to protect public health, with a particular focus on women’s health, and to achieve a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040.
  • A committee has been formed with Nasima Begum as the Chief Advisor, and MP Shabnam Jahan Shila as the Convener. This committee consists of women Members of Parliament (MPs) who strongly support the quick approval of a draft amendment proposed by the Ministry of Health.


The committee members have promised to issue a strong statement in favor of the law once it is approved by the cabinet and presented in parliament. They are also dedicated to actively advocating for the passage of this legislation. These MPs believe it is crucial to have proper laws in place to control tobacco use in Bangladesh.


Furthermore, the committee has collectively committed to making Bangladesh a tobacco-free country by 2040, as declared by the Prime Minister. By working together towards this goal, these women MPs are determined to make significant contributions to the efforts aimed at eliminating tobacco consumption and its harmful effects from the nation.

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Account Name: Nari Maitree-DMCC
Account Number: 05390240000106
Bank Name: Rupali Bank ltd
Branch Name: Khilgaon Branch, Dhaka.
Routing Number: 185273978