CDC Foundation Receives Bloomberg Philanthropies Grant For Further Monitoring of Global Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in the world, resulting in almost 6 million deaths annually, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. To provide standardized tobacco use data and track key tobacco control measures, Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing the CDC Foundation with a two-year, $14 million grant that will enable the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), to conduct repeat tobacco usage surveys in 11 countries to measure tobacco control progress.

“CDC’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey has been instrumental in monitoring the global tobacco epidemic,” said Ursula Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies funding through the CDC Foundation will allow CDC and in-country partners to continue tracking important tobacco use trends and further evaluate critical public health interventions in these countries.”

The grant announced today, which is being provided as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, will support implementation of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) and the Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS), both components of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS). The survey results will enhance countries’ capacity to design, implement and evaluate tobacco control interventions among adult populations.

GATS will be repeated in 11 countries and provide a vital opportunity to evaluate recent tobacco control interventions and measure tobacco control progress. Vietnam, one of the 11 countries slated to conduct repeat GATS, is preparing to implement the survey in early 2015. The survey results will provide useful information on the impact of the country’s first-ever comprehensive tobacco control law. The law, enacted in 2012, requires smoke-free work places and public places with few exceptions; mandates large, graphic cigarette health warnings; and places strong restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The remaining countries, scheduled to begin repeat GATS over the next two years, are being finalized. These countries will use the survey results to measure the effects of similar policies and understand tobacco use trends. The grant also provides resources for the integration of TQS, a set of questions from GATS that can be included in ongoing national and subnational surveys. TQS helps countries to track tobacco use over time and measure key tobacco control interventions.

“We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for this grant that will continue the critical work taking place around the world to understand tobacco usage trends, which is essential in helping prevent tobacco use and the myriad health problems it causes,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.