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Media Statement

For Immediate Release: July 19, 2010
Contact: Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

Statement Regarding Release of Global Adult Tobacco Survey Results by Turkey

On July 19, 2010, Turkey 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 Turkey can be found at:

Highlights from the GATS Turkey survey are as follows:

  • Turkey has alarmingly high rates of cigarette smoking. 16 million adults smoke.
  • Smokers in Turkey want to quit: over half said they wanted to quit and 45% made a quit attempt this year.
  • Due to effective implementation of policy measures, including strong penalties and enforcement, few people are exposed to tobacco advertising.
  • 38.5% of adults (approximately 6 million) working in indoor workplaces were exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace, at the time of the survey. Note: GATS was conducted prior to implementation of strong new smoke-free legislation in Turkey. Since July 2009, Turkey’s populace has been protected from exposure to tobacco smoke in
    • indoor public workplaces,
    • Indoor education, health, marketing, social, cultural, sports, and entertainment sector buildings,
    • public transport, including commercial taxis,
    • indoor and outdoor public and private education buildings,
    • restaurants, bars, cafes, and traditional coffee houses.

With this legislation, Turkey became one of the first six countries in the world with such a powerful tobacco control law. (The other countries are United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Bermuda).

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 Turkey participated in the first phase of GATS: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. Results from GATS will assist Turkey and the other participating 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 Turkey, GATS was coordinated by the Ministry of Health. Partners include the Turkish Statistical Institute, Hacettepe University, WHO Representative in Turkey, WHO European Regional Office, WHO Headquarters, CDC, CDC Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and RTI International.


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