Research Findings Dissemination Conference held in Dhaka on January 23, 2017

Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP) and the Institute for Global Tobacco Control based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH), Baltimore, USA jointly organized the Research Findings Dissemination Conference on Tobacco Control in Bangladesh. The conference was held on January 23, 2017 in Dhaka.  

The findings of the ten research projects of previous year’s ten research grant programs were presented in the conference through three scientific sessions. Among the 10 research projects, five were undertaken by five student researchers of different public and private universities and institutions while the other five were undertaken by five experienced researchers of different public and private universities and organizations. Of the ten research projects, the important ones include: 1) Insight of plain packaging among the adults general population in Dhaka City; 2) Prevailing social obstacles in keeping tobacco free homes in urban areas: Realizing ways to overcome; 3) Health and Environmental Impacts of Tobacco Farming in Selected Districts of Bangladesh; 4) Relationship between Selling Tobacco Products by Children and Their Attitude and Practice Regarding Tobacco Intake; 5) Marketing Strategy of E-cigarettes in Bangladesh; and 6) Price Elasticity, Social Norms, Tobacco Control Policies and Smoking Behavior among Students in the South-west Region of Bangladesh.

Some important findings of those researches are 1) Most of the responds (86.9%) were aware of Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) which were introduced in Bangladesh in early 2016 while only a few (5.9%) knew about Plain Packaging (PP); 2) About 14.0% of the respondents’ usual place for smoking was at home and around 33.0% allowed the use of any kind of tobacco (smoking or smokeless) at their homes; 3) The main factors influencing farmers to grow tobacco were that cultivating tobacco was more profitable than other crops and the seeds were usually provide by the tobacco companies. Tobacco farmers had less knowledge of the harmful environment effects resulting from tobacco harvesting than non-tobacco farmers; 4) Tobacco consumption practice among tobacco sellers was also diverse and this practice was initiated after becoming a vendor. Tobacco selling children’s mean score was significantly higher that the non-tobacco selling children in both attitude (P<0.01) and practice (P<0.001) which implies that tobacco trading children practice and favor tobacco use more than the other vendors; 5) Nearly half (45.0%) of e-cigarette user respondents were students with a mean age of 27 years. About one-third of the respondents thought that e-cigarettes contained fewer chemicals; and 6) The study findings showed that around 21.0% of the students who were surveyed, smoked. The mean initiation age was only 15.67 years. However, the current price significantly and robustly reduced cigarette consumption demand.

National Professor Dr. Brig. (Rtd.) Abdul Malik, President, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh chaired the inaugural program while Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP and President, Inter Parliamentary Union was present as the Chief Guest. Moreover, Ms. Roxana Quader, Additional Secretary (PH and WHO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Dr. N. Paranietharan, WHO Representative to Bangladesh; and Mr. Stephen A. Tamplin, Associate Scientist, Institute for Global Tobacco Control; attended as Guests of Honor.

In the closing session, Mr. Mohammad Shahjahan, Director and CEO, BCCP was present as chairperson. In addition, Mr. Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Joint Secretary and Coordinator, National Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Dr. AFM Mafizul Islam, Advisor, Southeast University, Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Mr. Stephen A. Tamplin, Associate Scientist, Institute for Global Tobacco Control; attended as Guests of Honor in closing session. Dr. Shahida Haque, Senior Deputy Director (Research), BCCP delivered vote of thanks.