Background: Despite modest progress in reducing tobacco use, tobacco remains one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh.
Methods: Using disease-specific, prevalence-based, cost-of-illness approach, this research estimated the economic costs of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke based on data collected from a nationally representative survey of 10 119 households in 2018.
Results: The study estimated that 1.5 million adults were suffering from tobacco-attributable diseases and 61 000 children were suffering from diseases due to exposure to secondhand smoke in Bangladesh in 2018. Tobacco use caused 125 718 deaths in that year, accounting for 13.5% of all-cause deaths. The total economic cost was 305.6 billion Bangladeshi taka (BDT) (equivalent to 1.4% of gross domestic product or US$3.61 billion), including direct costs (private and public health expenditures) of BDT83.9 billion and indirect costs (productivity loss due to morbidity and premature mortality) of BDT221.7 billion. The total economic cost of tobacco more than doubled since 2004.
Conclusion: Tobacco use imposes a significant and increasing disease and financial burden on society. The enormous tobacco-attributable healthcare costs and productivity loss underscore the need to strengthen the implementation of tobacco control policies to curb the epidemic.
Keywords: economics; global health; low/middle income country; prevention; smoking caused disease.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.