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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: September 27, 2010
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

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

On September 27, Ukraine 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 Ukraine can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/global/gats/countries/eur/fact_sheets/ukraine/index.htm

Highlights from the GATS Ukraine survey are as follows:

  • In Ukraine 28.8 percent of adults (11.5 million) currently smoke tobacco (50.0 percent men; 11.2 percent women).
  • Although 86.3 percent of adults believe inhaling other people's smoke causes serious illness, 32.8 percent of adults inhaled secondhand smoke daily or almost daily. In the venues of restaurants or cafes, 64.1 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke. (Note: As of January 1, 2011, smoking will be banned in indoor workplaces and public places in Ukraine, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking rooms.)
  • 45.1 percent of adults noticed cigarette marketing in advertisements, sponsorship, or promotions. Though tobacco advertising is banned on television, radio and on outdoor billboards in Ukraine, other forms of marketing are allowed, including tobacco sponsorship and promotion.
  • 67.9 of current smokers are interested in quitting and 40.5 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 Ukraine participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay and Vietnam. As with the other participating countries, results from GATS will assist Ukraine 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 Ukraine, GATS was coordinated by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and the School of Public Health at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. The Implementing Agency was the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. The survey had the support of the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization and the country office.

Funding for GATS is provided by 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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