Dhaka Conference on Tobacco or Health 2020 (DCTH 2020) is the premier gathering for those working in the field of tobacco and health for the people affected by tobacco use, anti-tobacco activists, academics, policy makers and other individuals committed to ending tobacco use. It is a chance to assess where we will have opportunities to know about recent developments and lessons learnt in relation to tobacco control, and collectively chart a course forward.

Given the 2030 deadline for reduction by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being, Dhaka Conference on Tobacco or Health 2020 (DCTH 2020) will coincide with a major push for tobacco control. With a global economic crisis threatening to undermine public investments, the conference will help keep tobacco control on the front burner, and is a chance to demonstrate the importance of continued investments for tobacco control to achieve health and development goals. DCTH 2020 is also an opportunity to highlight the critical connection between tobacco, health and poverty.

The DCTH 2020 programme will present new knowledge and experiences and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the national, regional and global response to tobacco control. A variety of session types – from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging sessions and plenaries – will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the exhibitions and cultural events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking. 

The Asia Pacific region has the highest number of tobacco consumption globally and Bangladesh is one of the countries in this region. With the economic and demographic growth, Bangladesh has become a crucial market and prime target for transnational tobacco industries on expanding business. The rigorous marketing efforts of Tobacco Industry have brought concerns to health and development advocates in the region that led the launch of Dhaka Conference on Tobacco or Health 2020 (DCTH 2020). Dhaka Conference on Tobacco or Health 2020 (DCTH 2020) will facilitate Bangladesh’s high-level delegates and key stakeholders to co-create holistic solutions, to facilitate partnerships, and to share best practices to the local tobacco control challenge towards ending the tobacco epidemic.

With eight million preventable deaths each year caused by the marketing and interference tactics of the tobacco industry, the conference will examine successful interventions for navigating a changing global and national landscape. The enormous burden of deaths and disabilities caused by tobacco-induced diseases cost the economy of Bangladesh BDT 305.6 billion (USD 3.6 billion), which is equivalent to 1.4% of the national output (GDP) in 2017-18. Approximately 1.5 million adults are suffering from diseases attributable to tobacco use and nearly 61,000 children are suffering from diseases due to exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, tobacco-attributable diseases caused nearly 126,000 deaths in 2018 accounting for 13.5% of all-cause deaths in the population.

A multi-disciplinary and interactive program will transform the debate over challenges by showing how best practices can be used for reaching health and development goals while at same time protecting policy gains from tobacco industry interference, and protecting the human right to health.