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Statement Regarding Second Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by Thailand

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health is pleased to share with you the news below.

Statement from CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health

Statement Regarding Second Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by Thailand

On May 28, 2012, Thailand released its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) results. In Thailand, GATS was first conducted in 2009 and repeated in 2011.  Many countries conduct surveys to monitor adult tobacco use, but until recently, no one standard global survey for adults has consistently tracked tobacco use, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, and tobacco control measures. A factsheet summarizing results from the 2011 Thailand GATS and a second factsheet comparing 2009 and 2011 results can be found here.

Highlights from the 2011Thailand GATS include:

  • ·        Overall tobacco use was essentially unchanged from 27.2% in 2009 to 26.9% (46.6% of men and 2.6% of women) in 2011.
  • ·        Quit attempts in the past 12 months declined from 49.8% in 2009 to 36.7% in 2011 among current smokers.
  • ·        The proportion of adults who noticed cigarette advertising in stores increased from 6.7% in 2009 to 18.2% in 2011.
  • ·        Among men, 30.1% currently smoked manufactured cigarettes and 28.1% currently smoked hand-rolled cigarettes in 2011.
  • ·        Among current smokers of manufactured cigarettes, 10.0% purchased the new inexpensive brands that were introduced in the market by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) following the 2009 tobacco tax increase.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the world and kills up to half of those who use it. In the 20th century, the tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide; during the 21st century, it is estimated that it could kill one billion. Containing this epidemic is one of the most important public health priorities of our time.

To effectively combat the tobacco epidemic, CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend MPOWER, a set of six proven strategies: monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies; protecting people from tobacco smoke; offering help to quit tobacco use; warning about the dangers of tobacco; enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raising taxes on tobacco. Monitoring the tobacco epidemic is a key step in managing it. CDC oversees GATS, which is designed to produce national and sub-national estimates on tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and quit attempts among adults. GATS also indirectly measures the impact of tobacco control and prevention initiatives.

Thailand is the first country to repeat the survey.  In 2011-2012, other countries participating in the second phase of GATS include: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Qatar and Romania. From 2008-2010, fourteen countries participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. As with the other participating countries, results from GATS will assist Thailand in translating data into action through improved policies and programs. GATS is a nationally representative household survey of all non-institutionalized men and women aged 15 years and older using a standard and consistent protocol. Survey data are collected electronically during in-person interviews.

In Thailand, GATS was implemented by the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, National Statistical Office and Mahidol University. The survey had the support of the Southeast Asian Regional Office of the World Health Organization and the country office.

Funding for GATS is provided by the Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use (partners include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, CDC, CDC Foundation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, WHO, and the World Lung Foundation). Technical assistance is provided by CDC, WHO, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and RTI International. Program support is provided by the CDC Foundation.

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