Global Monitoring of the Tobacco Epidemic

Global TobaccoTobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. More than seven million people die each year due to tobacco related illnesses—a figure expected to rise to more than eight million a year by 2030. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 80 percent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries. Robust monitoring helps countries tailor best practices to combat the epidemic.

Expanding CDC’s Global Tobacco Surveillance System

The Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS), comprised of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), and Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS), provides globally standardized data to track adult and youth tobacco use prevalence and trends across the world. The CDC Foundation supports the work of CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international partners in implementing select components of GTSS.

GATS, a nationally representative household survey of adults aged 15 years and older, is the global standard to systematically monitor adult tobacco use and track key tobacco control indicators. The survey is intended to generate comparable data within and across countries and enhances a country's capacity to design, implement, and evaluate tobacco control interventions. GATS surveys completed to date provide globally comparable data for more than 790 million adult smokers, which represents more than 68 percent of the world’s adult smoking population.

To promote global comparability of adult tobacco use data, TQS was developed to provide countries with a standard set of tobacco use questions for inclusion in ongoing national and sub-national surveys. TQS are a subset of GATS and are intended to harmonize international tobacco surveillance and monitoring activities across a variety of different surveillance systems.

GYTS, a school-based survey that collects data on students aged 13–15 years, is intended to enhance a country’s capacity to design, implement, and evaluate youth tobacco control and prevention programs.

In addition to funding, the CDC Foundation provides logistical and administrative support, including managing contracts and procurement, convening subject matter experts and partners, working with WHO and CDC to support survey implementation, and helping operationalize CDC’s vision for global tobacco surveillance.

Helping CDC Build tobacco Control Capacity

Building on the success of GTSS, the CDC Foundation received additional funding to help CDC use GTSS data to build research, epidemiology, and policy capacity globally. The CDC Foundation supports CDC in establishing tobacco control fellowships and implementing Data to Action workshops to build in-country tobacco control capacity. These programs are intended to use GTSS data to inform tobacco control policies and generate an evidence base for advancing tobacco control policies, programs, and research.

GTSS Funding Support

  • The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, with grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies, supports GATS and TQS globally.
  • Select countries have self-funded GTSS surveys or provided in-kind support.
Program Description: To create, launch and expand, as a component of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a standard global surveillance system to monitor adult tobacco use and key tobacco control measures in countries with the highest burden from the tobacco epidemic. These data will be used to develop, implement and evaluate tobacco control policies and interventions that can reduce tobacco use at the national and global levels.
Funding Partners:
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
Program Partners:
  • CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Global Tobacco Control Branch
  • World Health Organization
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  • The Union
  • Vital Strategies
  • RTI International
Program Location:
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Brazil
  • Bhutan
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Croatia
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Cambodia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Mexico
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Chad
  • Tajikistan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Viet Nam