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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: September 23, 2010
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Statement Regarding First Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Result by Poland

On September 23, Poland released its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) results. 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 fact sheet summarizing the results from Poland can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/global/gats/countries/eur/fact_sheets/poland/index.htm.

Highlights from the GATS Poland survey are as follows:

  • 30.3 percent of the population (9.8 million people) currently smoke tobacco (36.9 percent of men; 24.4 percent of women).
  • 33.6 percent of all adults (4.3 million) were exposed to tobacco smoke at their workplace. Non-smokers reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in bars, pubs, or night, disco, music clubs (87.6 percent), restaurants/coffee shops/bistros (50.9 percent), and at home (28.0 percent).
  • 64.7 percent of adults favor a complete ban on smoking in worksites and 46.9 percent in gastronomic venues, including restaurants, coffee shops, bistros, and bars.
  • Despite a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, 25.2 percent of adults noticed any tobacco advertisement, promotion or sponsorship.
  • 50.1 percent of current smokers are interested in quitting and 35.1 percent of smokers attempted to quit in the past year.

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 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.

Thirteen countries besides Poland participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. As with the other participating countries, results from GATS will assist Poland in translating data into action through improved policies and programs.

GATS is a scientifically representative household survey of all noninstitutionalized men and women aged 15 years and older using a standard and consistent protocol. Survey data are collected electronically during in-person interviews.

In Poland, GATS was coordinated by the Polish Ministry of Health and jointly conducted by the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, the Medical University of Warsaw, and Pentor Research International. 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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