Tobacco Consumption among the Garment Workers at Dhaka City in Bangladesh

The readymade clothing (RMG) industry is a key sector of the Bangladesh economy, which alone accounts for 20% of the GDP of the country and about 78% of the total merchandise export earnings of the country. An estimated 4.4 million people work in this industry, of which 80 per cent are women from underprivileged social backgrounds. In Bangladesh, this ready-made garment sector provides economic benefits and some empowerment for workers. A cross-sectional descriptive analysis accompanied by a qualitative approach was used. 560 garment workers were recruited from 6 (one large, two medium, and three small) garment factories in the Mirpur area of Dhaka City through proportionate quota sampling. Nearly all clothing employees understood that both smoking and smokeless tobacco (98.4%) were detrimental to their health. Awareness of the particular health risks of tobacco smoking (96.96%) was relatively higher than that of smokeless tobacco (90%). The most prevalent source of their information (92.9 percent) was electronic media (radio / TV / cinema). In the case of smoking tobacco, the most reported disease caused by smoking tobacco was cancer (63.6 percent), followed by lung cancer (15.7 percent) and heart attack (11.3 percent). On the other hand, cancer (29.8 percent ) , followed by oral cancer (26.6 percent) and lung cancer (15.0 percent) were mainly identified by clothing employees for smokeless tobacco diseases. The awareness of garment workers on the policy of tobacco control was found to be very limited.Only 35.0% knew about the policy. Although few garments workers know about the rules for prohibition of tobacco product in public place (25.7%) and public transport (11.3%), other specific rules under tobacco control policy were not known to majority of them. The present study provides a scientific base regarding current tobacco using practice among garments workers in Dhaka city and their knowledge and attitude towards tobacco. Finding revealed from qualitative analysis of data suggested that now-a-days smoking is considered as a trend; people have to smoke for showing smartness or to maintain social status. Peer influence also plays an important role for initiating and maintaining smoking status. Socio-cultural influence for smokeless tobacco.This study showed that consumption was not well reported, suggesting a need for more focused qualitative research.

Author(s) Details


Dr. Md. Aynul Islam Khan
Department of Pediatrics, Colonel Malek Medical College, Manikganj, Bangladesh.

Dr. Masuda Islam Khan
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, BIRDEM General Hospital and Ibrahim Medical College, Bangladesh.

Israt Jahan
Department of Applied Language and Culture, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh.

Prof. S. M. Muraduzzaman
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh.

Dr. Mohammad Jahangir Alam Sarker
Department of Medicine, BIHS General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Dr. Md. Ranzu Ahmed
Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh.

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