For a tobacco-free world: In our new video, farmers in Bangladesh show how they managed to quit tobacco and which crops they now grow.

For the past five years, we’ve been pursuing the vision of a tobacco-free world in 2040. We envision a world where tobacco use has been reduced to meaningless levels in the majority of countries and the tobacco industry is highly regulated. Until this is achieved, we will fight for an effective supply chain law, also on European level, to ensure that human rights violations such as child labour or lack of occupational health and safety in tobacco fields as well as deforestation for tobacco curing finally become a thing of the past.

But what does a tobacco-free world mean for countries where tobacco is still grown at a large scale today?

Tobacco-free world in tobacco growing countries?

In the long term, a tobacco-free world means that hardly any tobacco needs to be grown. Fields in tobacco growing countries will therefore become tobacco-free. Farmers in Bangladesh have already embarked on this path and abandoned tobacco cultivation. They get support from UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative), one of our cooperation partners since years.

In our new video, a joint production with UBINIG, former tobacco farmers from Mirpur (Kushtia, Bangladesh) show how they managed to quit tobacco cultivation and which crops they now grow.

Food, Not Tobacco: Farmers shifting out of tobacco in Bangladesh

All over the world, there are already successful examples of switching from tobacco to other crops. For example, former tobacco farmers are now growing bamboo, cassava, kenaf and soybeans. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes tobacco-free farms in Kenya. The United Nations issued the world’s first tobacco control social bond to support tobacco farmers in Zambia in their transition. In Indonesia, an agricultural school was established at Muhammadiyah Magelang University to improve tobacco farmers’ skills and knowledge to move away from tobacco cultivation.

You can find these and other great examples on our world map of alternatives.

"I have found that there is not much profit in tobacco cultivation. If I grow food crops and vegetables instead, I don’t have to work that hard. Moreover, it is profitable." Farmer from Mirpur