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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Low Level of Knowledge about Harmful Effects of Tobacco among the Rural Bangladeshi People: Implications for Tobacco Control

Md.Monsurul Haque, MBBS, Bangladesh Health Foundation, 68, West Rajabazar, Indira Road, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Objective: To examine Bangladeshi rural smokers' understanding about tobacco use and cessation.

Methods: 400 smokers, both from urban (Dhaka) and rural areas were individually interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire.

Results: Among the smokers (200) from village only 86 firmly believe that smoking is harmful to health and majority (77 of 86) admit that they should quit smoking immediately. Another fraction (63 of 200) are confused about the harms of smoking but they believe that smoking causes some sort of harms and about 50%t intend to stop smoking. But a big fraction (51 out of 200) is totally unaware of the ill effect of smoking. So naturally they don`t have any intention of quitting smoking.Many posses misbelieve. There are some who uses Hukka (hukka has the provision of washing the smoke by circulating it through water.) believe that this sort of smoking can cause no harm as smoke is washed while puffing. On the other hand 179 smokers out of 200 in Dhaka city were aware of the ill effects of tobacco. On asking they told that they came to know through TV, radio, seminar, rally and by discussion with other people. It is a matter of great hope that 94 per cent of them wish to quit smoking soon. Conclusion: The rural people in Bangladesh, who hardly have access to medias are severely lacking information.So immediate measures need to be taken to educate the ignorant people with harmful effect of smoking to make smoking cessation program a success.