Tobacco Use in Turkey Declines Significantly

Results Informed by CDC and CDC Foundation Work With The Global Adult Tobacco Survey

ATLANTA – The Government of Turkey today announced that 1.2 million fewer Turkish adults smoked cigarettes in 2012 versus 2008. In its announcement, the Turkish government cited results from its 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). The 2012 survey showed that 14.8 million people or 27.1 percent of the Turkish population smoked, which is a decline from the 2008 survey figure of 16 million people or 31.2 percent of the population.

In Turkey, GATS was implemented by the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat) under the coordination of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This work was made possible by a grant to the CDC Foundation from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

Other notable findings from the latest survey indicated that secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure declined, with the largest drop in SHS exposure occurring in restaurants (12.9 percent exposure rate in 2012 versus 55.9 percent in 2008). In addition, more current smokers (53.0 percent in 2012 versus 46.3 percent in 2008) thought of quitting because of health warnings on cigarette packages.

“We are pleased to partner with the Turkish government, WHO, CDC and Bloomberg Philanthropies by providing evidence that informs efforts to improve the health and lives of millions of people in Turkey,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “CDC brings a world-class approach to collecting data, which is essential to ensuring that the information is accurate in determining which approaches are most effective in reducing the prevalence of smoking.” In addition, Stokes added, “We congratulate the Republic of Turkey on its groundbreaking work to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in their country.”

As a partner in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the CDC Foundation helps CDC, WHO and other international partners work with countries to implement GATS and strengthen the monitoring of global tobacco use and key tobacco control measures. Data for GATS are gathered through face-to-face interviews using electronic data collection. In Turkey, GATS was conducted as a household survey of persons aged 15 years or older. GATS has been completed in 19 countries, which covers more than 750 million of the world’s adult smokers.

The release of GATS results in Istanbul, Turkey, today coincided with World No Tobacco Day. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and WHO Director General Margaret Chan spoke at the event, which was attended by representatives from the Turkish government.

About the CDC Foundation

Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations and individuals to support CDC’s 24/7 work to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation manages approximately 200 CDC-led programs in the United States and in countries around the world.