Country

Bhutan

Bhutan has made progress on tobacco control in recent years. However, people continue to die and become sick needlessly, and the costs to society from tobacco use continue to mount.  Bhutan can still do more to make the proven tobacco control tools work for its citizens’ wellbeing.

Issues

Tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of Bhutan. Every year, more than 208 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused disease. Still, more than 560 children (10-14 years old) and 41560 adults (15+ years old) continue to use tobacco each day. Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic insulates the tobacco industry in Bhutan and ensures that tobacco's death toll will grow every year. Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities and resources to strengthen their efforts and create change.

Smoking Deaths

human body

Adult Smoking (15+ Y.O.)

using tobacco daily: 2015

9.84%

Even though fewer men smoke on average in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries, there are still more than 30500 men who smoke cigarettes each day, making it an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Children Smoking(10–14 Y.O.)

% using tobacco daily: 2015

1%

Even though fewer boys smoke in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries, there are still more than 300 boys who smoke cigarettes each day, making it an ongoing and dire public health threat.

coffin

Deaths

% caused by tobacco: 2016

6.47%

Even though fewer men die from tobacco in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries, tobacco still kills 3 men every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

human body

Adult Smoking (15+ Y.O.)

% using tobacco daily: 2015

4.3%

Even though fewer women smoke in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries, there are still more than 11200 women who smoke cigarettes each day, making it an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Children Smoking (10–14 Y.O.)

% using tobacco daily: 2015

0.59%

More girls smoke in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries.

coffin

Deaths

% caused by tobacco: 2016

4.37%

Even though fewer women die from tobacco in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries, tobacco still kills 66 women every year, necessitating action from policymakers.

Smokeless Tobacco

% using tobacco daily: 2013

19.7%

More people use smokeless tobacco in Bhutan than on average in medium-HDI countries.

Societal Harms

The economic cost of smoking in Bhutan amounts to 1215 million ngultrum. This includes direct costs related to healthcare expenditures and indirect costs related to lost productivity due to early mortality and morbidity.

Tobacco Use Also...

Harms Development

n/a

Harms Development

Harms Environment

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded pieces of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 2.6 million tonnes of butts and packs wind up as toxic trash each year. This is roughly equivalent to the weight of 500 000 endangered African elephants.

Harms Environment

Harms Equality

To appeal to more customers, the tobacco industry markets its products aggressively to women and children.

Harms Equality

Harms NCDs

People living with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to smoke as other individuals.

Harms NCDs

Industry

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2016 was more than USD 346 Billion, 16952% larger than the Gross National Income of Bhutan. The industry is a powerful force that does not fear the actions of nation-states because of their extensive resources and global market power.

Growing

There were less than 1000 metric tons of tobacco produced in Bhutan in 2014. Tobacco growing is only a small fraction of agriculture in Bhutan, with only 0.02% of agricultural land devoted to tobacco cultivation.

Production

n/a

Solutions

Current Policy in Bhutan

Protect from Smoke

All public places completely smoke-free is the best practice

Smokefree

n/a

HealthCare Facilities

n/a

Educational Facilities

n/a

Universities

n/a

Government Facilities

n/a

Indoor Offices

n/a

Restaurants

n/a

Pubs and Bars

n/a

Public Transport

n/a

All Other Indoor Public Places

n/a

Funds for Smokefree Enforcement

Offer Help

National quit line and both NRT and cessation-services cost-covered is the best practice

Quitting Resources
NRT and/or some cessation services (at least one of which is cost-covered)
National Quitline
Yes

Warn About the Dangers to Tobacco Users on Product Packaging

A plain, standardized pack with a large health warning is the best practice

Type of Warning Label
Text
Percent of Pack Covered
n/a
Plain Packaging
No

Warn About the Dangers to the Whole Population in a Media Campaign

Ran a National Anti-Tobacco Campaign in 2014 or 2016
No
Appropriate Characteristics
Part Of A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program
n/a
Pre-Tested With The Target Audience
n/a
Target Audience Research Was Conducted
n/a
Aired On Television And/Or Radio
n/a
Utilized Media Planning
n/a
Earned Media/Public Relations Were Used To Promote The Campaign
n/a
Process Evaluation Was Used To Assess Implementation
n/a
Outcome Evaluation Was Used To Assess Effectiveness
n/a

Enforce Bans on Advertising

Ban on all forms of direct and indirect advertising is the best practice

Number of Direct Ad Bans

7/7

possible bans

Number of Indirect Ad Bans

5/10

possible bans

Ad Ban Compliance Percent

High

Direct Bans

  • National TV and radio
  • International TV and radio
  • Local magazines and newspapers
  • International magazines and newspapers
  • Billboard and outdoor advertising
  • Advertising at point of sale
  • Advertising on internet

Indirect Bans

  • Free distribution in mail or through other means
  • Promotional discounts
  • Non-tobacco products identified with tobacco brand names
  • Brand name of non-tobacco products used for tobacco product
  • Appearance in TV and/or films: tobacco brands (product placement)
  • Appearance in TV and/or films: tobacco products
  • Prescribed anti-tobacco ads required for any visual entertainment 
media product that depicts tobacco products, use or images
  • Complete ban on sponsorship
  • Any form of contribution (financial or other support) to any event, activity or individual
  • Ban on the publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry of events, activities, individuals

Raise Taxes

Excise Tax as a % of Cigarette Price

WHO Benchmark

Minimum 70%

of Retail Price is Excise Tax

Bhutan

n/a

of Retail Price is Excise Tax