‘Anti-Tobacco Orgs’ budget proposal for saving millions life’


Staff Reporter :
Hiking prices of tobacco products through effective taxation will not only increase the government’s revenue earnings but also reduce the prevalence of tobacco use and thereby, the government’s healthcare cost attributable to tobacco-induced diseases.

Therefore, in the upcoming national budget for FY 2024-25, the prices of tobacco products particularly the price and tax rate of low-tier cigarettes must be increased to push these products out of the purchasing capacity of the youth and the poor.

Speakers said this on Wednesday in a journalists’ workshop titled “Tobacco Tax and Price Measures: National Budget FY 2024-25”, held at the BMA Bhaban of the capital, jointly organized by PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) and ATMA (Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance). A total of 29 journalists from print, television, and online media outlets participated in the workshop.

Md. Hasan Shahriar, Project Head, Tobacco Control, PROGGA, delivered the keynote presentation before journalists. Among the discussants were Md. Abdus Salam, Program’s Manager (Bangladesh) for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Humaira Sultana, Communications Manager for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Liton Haider, Convener of ATMA, and ABM Zubair, Executive Director, PROGGA.


Speakers said the low-tier cigarettes constitute 75 percent of the total cigarette market of Bangladesh. The supplementary duty imposed on this tier is merely 58 percent.

It is, therefore, quite evident that compared to other cigarette tiers, hiking prices and supplementary duty of low-tier cigarettes will encourage a much larger number of low-income tobacco users to quit.

The tobacco prices and taxation proposals presented during the workshop are as follows:
The retail price of low-tier cigarettes should be increased to BDT 60 for 10 sticks from the existing BDT 45, followed by a 63 percent supplementary duty. The prices of 10 sticks should be set at BDT 80, 130 and 170 for medium, high, and premium tiers respectively, followed by the existing 65 percent supplementary duty on these three tiers.

It was also informed that the implementation of the above-mentioned budget proposals by anti-tobacco organizations would generate BDT 10,000 crore as additional revenue which could greatly contribute to tackling the existing financial crisis. Additionally, the proposals, in the long run, will also help prevent the premature deaths of 1.1 million Bangladeshis, including nearly half a million youths.