Aim: Poor farmers are cultivating tobacco because they can obtain great profit and support from tobacco companies. However, they overlook tobacco-related health problems and consequences. In this study, we explored the impact of tobacco farming on farmers’ health, drawing on an empirical study in seven villages of Ruposhipara union, Bandarban district in Bangladesh. Subjects and methods: Following a mixed research method, data were collected by administering 200 pre-tested structured questionnaires, five group discussions and five in-depth interviews. We also reviewed existing and proposed policies related to tobacco control in Bangladesh. We followed grounded theory for analysing qualitative data and conducted a Chi-square test to observe any significant associations for selected quantitative data. Results: Farmers’ self-reported tobacco-related sicknesses were nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, weakness, cough, dyspnoea and hypersalivation. Children, women and older people were equally affected. They experienced diverse tobacco-related health problems at different stages of tobacco farming. Continuous contact with tobacco leaves and not using any safety measures had put the farmers at greater risk of tobacco sickness. Conclusion: The proposed “Tobacco Cultivation Control Policy, 2017” emphasised to provide necessary supports to farmers for growing alternative crops. Implementation of this policy would encourage farmers to give up harmful tobacco farming and lessen their health problems.

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Journal of Public Health (Germany)

Paul, A. (Alak), Sultana, N.N. (Naznin Nahar), Nazir, N. (Naima), Das, B.K. (Bebek Kanti), Jabed, M.A. (Md. Akib), & Nath, T.K. (Tapan Kumar). (2019). Self-reported health problems of tobacco farmers in south-eastern Bangladesh. Journal of Public Health (Germany). doi:10.1007/s10389-019-01159-0