In 1998, WHO (World Health Organization), the United States of America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) began development of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS). Results from the GATS assist countries in the formulation, tracking and implementation of effective tobacco control interventions, and countries are able to compare results of their survey with results from other countries.
The purpose of the GTSS is to enhance the capacity of countries to design, implement and evaluate their national comprehensive tobacco action plan and to monitor the key articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
The GTSS includes the collection of tobacco-specific data for both youths (13-15 years) and adults (15 years and older) through four surveys:
– The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) focuses on youths aged 13-15 and collects information in schools.
– The Global School Professionals Survey (GSPS) surveys teachers and administrators from the same schools that participate in the GYTS.
– The Global Health Professions Students Survey (GHPSS) focuses on third-year students pursuing degrees in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacology.
– The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), a household survey, monitors tobacco use among adults.
Topics covered in GATS:
– Tobacco use prevalence (smoking and smokeless tobacco products).
– Second-hand tobacco smoke exposure and policies.
– Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions.
– Exposure to media.