Bangladesh became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in the majority of indoor public places and workplaces, with a minor exception for restaurants with fewer than four walls. Certain public places may have outdoor designated smoking zones, but healthcare and educational facilities, among other public places, shall not have such zones. Smoking is prohibited in one room means of public transport, but public transport with two or more rooms may have designated smoking zones. With respect to outdoor places, children’s parks, fairs, and queues of passengers riding public vehicles are smoke free. Sub-national jurisdictions may enact smoke free laws that are more stringent than the national law.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Tobacco advertising is prohibited in all print and electronic media, including at the point of sale. Free and discounted tobacco products also are prohibited, but tobacco products bearing non-tobacco brand names are allowed. Although sponsorship by the tobacco industry is not completely prohibited, publicity of the sponsorship is prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
The law requires rotating pictorial health warnings to cover at least 50 percent of the main display areas of all tobacco products. Misleading terms such as “light” and “low tar” are prohibited on tobacco packaging, but other misleading packaging (e.g., colors, numbers, and symbols) is not banned.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law does not grant the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes. The law does not require that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the emissions of their products, and it is uncertain whether manufacturers and importers must disclose the contents of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines and within 100 meters of educational or healthcare facilities. There are no restrictions on the sale of single cigarette sticks, small packets of cigarettes, or tobacco products via the internet. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. There are no restrictions on the use; advertising, promotion and sponsorship; or packaging and labeling of e-cigarettes.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, 2005, as amended by the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) (Amendment) Act, 2013, is the principal law governing tobacco control in Bangladesh. The Act is comprehensive and covers smoke free policies; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and packaging and labeling of tobacco products, among other areas. The Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Rules, 2015 are the implementing rules of the Act and provide further details regarding many provisions of the law. The 2005 Act was passed after Bangladesh became a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and was enacted as an addition to, not in derogation of, existing laws, at least to the extent that there were no contradictory provisions. The non-exclusive list of existing legislation includes the Railways Act, 1890 (governing smoking in railway compartments).
The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives issued implementation guidelines in March 2021 to ensure proper implementation of the Tobacco Control Act by local governments. These guidelines address retail license requirements and location-based sales restrictions, among other measures.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.