Smoking Prevalence among Drivers of Dhaka City: Measuring its Socio-Economic Impact
Bipasha, Munmun Shabnam
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Smoking is an increasingly prevalent habit in Bangladesh, particularly among men with low socio-economic status. Tobacco expenditures exacerbate the effects of poverty and cause significant deterioration in living standards among the poor Bangladeshi people. A cross sectional study was carried out from 15th to 26th March, 2013 to determine the prevalence, pattern, socio-economic impact of smoking among bus drivers of Dhaka city. The prevalence of cigarette smoking was 93% and 20% of total income was spent on cigarettes indicating more than twice as much as per capita expenditure on food, clothing, housing, health and education combined, resulting in illiterate, malnourished household members. Though most (32.3%) of the drivers started smoking before involving in driving profession, excessive smoking was promoted by occupational and environmental stress experiencing hectic work schedule. Tobacco can also worsen poverty among users and their families since most of the drivers reported heart disease (26.9%) and other health complications caused by smoking, depriving families of much-needed income and imposing additional costs of health care. Around 70% smokers wished to quit smoking considering its detrimental effect but unknown of quitting strategy. Interventions and preventions by policy makers, public health experts and other stakeholders should be introduced because smoking was more prevalent among bus drivers with detrimental health sequel.
- Volume 1, July 2013