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Media Statement

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

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

On October 27, Vietnam released its first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) results. Many countries conduct surveys to monitor adult tobacco use, but until recently, no single 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 Vietnam can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/global/gats/countries/WPR/fact_sheets/vietnam.

Highlights from the GATS Vietnam survey are as follows:

  • Over 15 million Vietnamese smoke. Vietnam is among those countries with the highest male smoking rates in the world.
  • Nearly half of non-smokers were exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace, despite a government ban on smoking in workplaces, healthcare facilities, schools and some public places.
  • Vietnam bans advertising, promotion, and some forms of sponsorship, however 16.9 percent of GATS respondents report seeing some form of cigarette marketing.
  • The median amount spent per pack of manufactured cigarettes equates to 29 US cents, making cigarettes in Vietnam among the cheapest in the world. 71.3 percent of adults support increasing taxes on tobacco products.
  • Nearly 1.5 million Vietnamese want to quit smoking in the next month.

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, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 Vietnam participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uruguay. As with the other participating countries, results from GATS will assist Vietnam 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 of age and older using a standard and consistent protocol. Survey data are collected electronically during in-person interviews.

In Vietnam, GATS was conducted by the Ministry of Health, Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health, General Statistics Office, and Hanoi Medical University. Financial support was provided by 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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