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Regulating tobacco retail outlets in Bangladesh: retailers’ views and implications for tobacco control advocacy
  1. Sahadat Hossain1,
  2. Afifa Anjum1,
  3. Md Elias Uddin2,
  4. Farzana Rahman3,
  5. HM Miraz Mahmud3,
  6. Md Kapil Ahmed3,
  7. M Shamimul Islam3
  1. 1Department of Public Health and Informatics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Bangladesh
  2. 2Department of English, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  3. 3Tobacco Control Program, Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  1. Correspondence to Sahadat Hossain, Department of Public Health and Informatics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar 1342, Bangladesh; sahadathossain.phi.ju{at}


Background Tobacco products are ubiquitously available in Bangladesh. There are currently no restrictions on who can sell tobacco products and where they are allowed to be sold. The objective of this study was to explore tobacco retailers’ views regarding tobacco retail licensing (TRL) in Bangladesh.

Methods A two-stage cluster sampling procedure was used to collect data from a representative sample of 472 tobacco retailers (97% response rate) in Dhaka city in 2018 through face-to-face interviews using a semistructured questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, X2 tests and logistic regression.

Results The majority (79%) of the retailers reported that they would support TRL, and 68% were interested in applying for TRL if adopted. Support for TRL was higher among those with a university degree (OR 2.1, 95% CI 0.8 to 5.3) and among those with knowledge about existing tobacco control regulations (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.8). Furthermore, support for TRL was significantly higher among those who believed that it would restrict tobacco retailing locations (AOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.0) and prevent tobacco sales to minors (AOR 3.5, 95% CI 2.2 to 5.5).

Conclusion This sample of tobacco retailers in Bangladesh supported TRL. TRL advocacy efforts could draw on this support.

  • advocacy
  • prevention
  • public policy
  • end game
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  • Contributors SH was responsible for study concept, implementation, statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. AA, MEU, FR, HMM, MKA and MSI were responsible for the implementation of the study. MEU also edited the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control with funds from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted conforming to the ethical standards to the highest possible extent. Ethical clearance certificate (Ref No: BBEC, JU/M 2018(6)1) was obtained from the institutional review board (IRB), ‘Biosafety, Biosecurity & Ethical Committee’ of the Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka. International ethical guidelines for biomedical research involving human subjects were followed throughout the study. Furthermore, individual informed consent was taken from all participants who read/understood the purpose and procedure of the study before data collection. Participation in the study was voluntary and no financial benefit was provided to the participants.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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