Current Tobacco Smoking, Quit Attempts, and Knowledge About Smoking Risks Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years — Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 28 Countries, 2008–2016

September 28, 2018 / Vol. 67 / No. 38



MMWR Introduction

Tobacco use is a leading preventable cause of disease globally and has been determined to cause adverse health outcomes such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and multiple types of cancer, including lung cancer. Each year, tobacco use causes approximately 7 million deaths worldwide, including approximately 6 million among tobacco users and an estimated 890,000 among nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. CDC analyzed 2008–2016 Global Adult Tobacco Survey data from 28 countries to assess tobacco smoking prevalence, quit attempts, and knowledge about tobacco smoking risks among people aged ≥15 years.

Some people do not fully understand the health risks associated with tobacco smoking, and studies have indicated that increasing knowledge about the adverse health effects of smoking can contribute to decreases in smoking, increases in cessation attempts, and increases in successful cessation. Implementation of proven tobacco control interventions, including strategies that increase knowledge about the health risks posed by tobacco use, might help to reduce tobacco use and tobacco-related disease, including heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

MMWR Highlights

Tobacco Smoking Prevalence

  • Across all 28 countries, the median prevalence of current tobacco smoking was 22.5%, ranging from 3.9% in Nigeria to 38.2% in Greece.

Quit Attempts Among Current Smokers

  • Among current tobacco smokers, the median prevalence of those who reported making a quit attempt was 42.5%, ranging from 14.4% in China to 59.6% in Senegal.

Knowledge of Smoking’s Adverse Health Outcomes

  • Overall median prevalence of knowledge about tobacco smoking causing adverse health outcomes was
    • 73.6% for stroke (range = 27.2% in China to 89.2% in Romania).
    • 83.6% for heart attack (range = 38.7% in China to 95.5% in Turkey).
    • 95.2% for lung cancer (range = 73.0% in Nigeria to 98.6% Argentina).
  • Knowledge that tobacco smoking causes stroke, heart attack, and lung cancer was significantly higher among nonsmokers than among smokers in 19, 20, and 20 countries, respectively.
  • Eight countries with data from multiple years showed, in general, significant increases in the knowledge/belief that tobacco smoking causes stroke, heart attack, and lung cancer.


Full Text