Monitoring tobacco use is central to understanding and reversing the tobacco epidemic

A compilation of national survey data of adults 15 years and over collected in 22 low and middle income countries between 2008 and 2013 reveals that monitoring tobacco use is central to understanding and reversing the tobacco epidemic.

Countries can use the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) Atlas to identify the gaps in their tobacco control policies and learn about the value of implementing MPOWER measures.

Comprehensive smoke-free environments, large graphic health warnings on tobacco products, increased tobacco taxes, and advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans are essential to reducing tobacco use and saving lives in low and middle income countries.

The data in this online resource covers 58 percent of the global adult population. The information is presented by the MPOWER strategy of the World Health Organization. It also provides data highlights by region and for Thailand and Turkey who have conducted two rounds of GATS.

Turkey is the only country in the world to attain the highest level of achievement across all MPOWER measures, smoking prevalence decreased significantly, from 31.2 percent in 2008 to 27.1 percent in 2012. The number of smokers dropped from 16 million adult smokers in 2008 to 14.8 million in 2012.

Indonesia, which is not a Party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has the highest male smoking rate among the 22 countries covered in the GATS Atlas and use of tobacco by men is 67 percent.
In China, 25 million people are exposed to secondhand smoke.

The rates of current smokers who noticed health warnings on cigarette packages and think about quitting as a result range from 15 percent in Greece, a country without graphic health warnings, to 67 percent in Thailand, a country that mandated 50 percent graphic health warnings at the time of its survey.

In Argentina, Indonesia, Philippines and Russia, more than 40 percent of the adults report noticing point of sale cigarette advertising. Russia has banned point of sale advertising since its GATS.

Cigarettes are highly affordable in countries with large populations of smokers and high smoking prevalence in countries such as Brazil, China and Russian Federation.

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