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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2010
Contact: Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

Statement Regarding Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by Brazil

On March 31, 2010, Brazil released results from its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).  GATS is a nationally representative survey of persons aged 15 and over and uses a standard, consistent protocol.  GATS was conducted as a special supplement to Brazil’s 2008 National Household Sample Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios or PNAD). PNAD provides basic information concerning Brazilian socioeconomic development.

Many countries conduct surveys to monitor adult tobacco use, but until recently, no one standard global survey for adults consistently tracked tobacco use, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, and tobacco control measures. A fact sheet summarizing the GATS results from Brazil can be found at

Highlights from the GATS Brazil survey are as follows:

  • 21.6% of men, 13.0% of women, and 17.2% overall (24.6 million adults) currently smoke tobacco 
  • 5 in 10 current smokers plan to quit or are thinking about quitting
  • 11.6 million adults (24.4% of adults) are exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace
  • 67.0% of adults noticed anti-cigarette smoking information on the television or radio
  • 3 in 10 adults have noticed cigarette marketing where cigarettes are sold
  • 2 in 10 adults have noticed cigarette marketing (other than where cigarettes are sold) or sporting event sponsorship
  • 96.1% of adults believe smoking causes serious illness

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 World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 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.

GATS implementation in Brazil as part of a larger national survey is a model for future expansion.  Survey data were collected electronically during in-person interviews.

Thirteen countries besides Brazil participated in the first round of GATS: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam.  Results will enable countries to translate data into action through improved policies and programs.

Funding for GATS Brazil was provided by the Brazil Ministry of Health and the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use (whose partners include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, CDC, CDC Foundation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, WHO, and the World Lung Foundation).

The Ministry of Health was the lead national coordinating agency for GATS in Brazil. Partners include the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Secretariat of Surveillance (SVS), National Institute of Cancer (INCA), National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, CDC, CDC Foundation, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


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