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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: November 9, 2010
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Statement Regarding First Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by the Russian Federation

On November 9, the Russian Federation 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 the Russian Federation is attached.

Highlights from the GATS Russian Federation survey are as follows:

  • 39.1 percent of the adult population (43.9 million people) currently smoke tobacco (60.2 percent of men; 21.7 percent of women).
  • 38.5 percent of the adult population currently smoke manufactured cigarettes (59.3 percent of men; 21.4 percent of women), making Russia the highest among all 14 GATS countries on this measure.
  • 34.9 percent of adults were exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
  • 82.5 percent of adults favor prohibiting all advertisements of tobacco products.
  • 31.7 percent of current smokers thought about quitting because of a warning label on cigarette packages.
  • 31.8 percent of smokers who visited a health care provider in the last 12 months said that they were advised to quit smoking.

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 the Russian Federation participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uruguay, and Vietnam. As with the other participating countries, results from GATS will assist the Russian Federation 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 the Russian Federation, GATS was conducted by the Ministry of Health and Social Development. Statistics of Russia (under the Federal State Statistics Service) and the Pulmonary Research Institute jointly implemented the survey. 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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