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Media Statement

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

Statement Regarding Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by Mexico

 On May 31, 2010, Mexico released results from its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).  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 Mexico can be found at

Highlights from the GATS Mexico survey are as follows:

  • 15.9 percent (10.9 million adults) currently smoke; 24.8 percent of men smoke, while 7.8 percent of women smoke
  • 72.1 percent of current smokers are interested in quitting smoking
  • 19.7 percent (3.8 million adult workers) were exposed to tobacco smoke in enclosed areas at their workplaces in the past month; 17.3 percent of Mexicans were exposed to smoke at home in the past month
  • 50.6 percent adults noticed advertisements for cigarettes
  • 84.5 percent of the smokers noticed health warnings on cigarette packages and 32.7 percent of current smokers thought about quitting because of warning labels.

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.

Thirteen countries besides Mexico participated in the first round of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.  Results from GATS will assist Mexico and the other participating countries that will soon be releasing results. Results will enable countries to translate 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.

Funding for GATS is 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).

In Mexico, GATS was coordinated by the National Committee composed by the Health Secretariat, National Council Against Addictions, National Tobacco Program, Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks, National Center of Epidemiological Surveillance and Disease Control Preventive Programs, National Institute of Psychiatry and National Institute of Respiratory Diseases. The Implementing Agency was the National Institute of Public Health. The survey had the support of the country office of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO-Mexico).


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