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Ethn Health. 2011 Dec;16(6):519-33. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2011.578734. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

The re-shaping of the life-world: male British Bangladeshi smokers and the English smoke-free legislation.

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Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, GP Section, 20 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DX, UK.



To explore how male Bangladeshi smokers adapted to the English smoke-free legislation.


We draw on data derived from the Evaluation of Smoke-free England (ESME), a qualitative, longitudinal study conducted between 2007 and 2008 in two English metropolitan areas. Repeat interviews (n = 34) were conducted before and after the legislation with 15 male Bangladeshi panel informants and from two focus groups: one with Bangladeshi men and the other with Bangladeshi women.


Bangladeshi smokers who participated in this study had largely accommodated to the smoke-free legislation and most had reduced their consumption of cigarettes, albeit to a modest degree. However, at the same time some Bangladeshi smokers appeared to have increased their use of shisha, a popular alternative method of smoking tobacco in this community. Smoke-free legislation also had an impact on the social and cultural forces that shape smoking behaviour in this group. In particular, family homes continued to be a key space where tobacco is consumed, although the legislation may have helped to shift the balance in favour of forces that oppose smoking and against enduring cultural pro-smoking norms. Smoking in public was also less socially acceptable, especially in the vicinity of local mosques and at community events. In some older groups, however, smoking remains a deeply embedded social habit which can undermine smokers' efforts to quit.


For maximum impact, tobacco control interventions aimed at whole populations may need to be supplemented by culturally sensitive measures in local areas where there is a high concentration of Bangladeshi people. Similar considerations may apply to other minority communities with a high prevalence of smoking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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