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The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) is part of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS), the largest global public health surveillance system ever developed and maintained.
It is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, and is essential to the tracking of the epidemic, and the planning, implementation and evaluation of control measures.
The GATS Atlas paints an important landscape of tobacco use and of select tobacco control measures stipulated by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and badged by WHO under the acronym MPOWER. It includes an introduction to the GTSS, which, over 15 years, has facilitated the development, implementation, and evaluation of tobacco control programs and policies in countries around the world. This publication is an expansion of The GTSS Atlas, published in 2009, which focused on youth data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey.
The GATS, supported by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, began in 2007 to systematically monitor adult tobacco use and key tobacco control measures, initially in 14 countries. It has already been expanded to 36 countries. The GATS Atlas covers the 22 countries for which data had been publicly released by the end of 2013. Two countries, Thailand and Turkey, have conducted the survey twice, providing trend data and thus the ability to evaluate progress. The GATS Atlas therefore illustrates the dynamics of tobacco use and tobacco control policies in countries representing 3 billion of the 5 billion adult population worldwide.
The Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS), a subset of key questions from GATS, was initiated in 2010 to generate comparable data by integrating a smaller number of standard tobacco questions into other national and subnational surveys. Examples from countries that have successfully integrated these questions, demonstrating a commitment to monitoring progress towards the global voluntary tobacco targets of a 30 per cent relative reduction by 2025, are presented in these pages.
This Atlas combines data and visuals to guide and encourage decision makers and public health practitioners to accelerate tobacco control. It aims to generate inquiry by not only providing a portrait of each country’s progress, but also enabling rigorous global and regional comparisons to be made. The central objective of this atlas is to make data visualization both simpler and more friendly, which we hope we have accomplished.
We thank the contributors, reviewers, and publishers for their tireless support and advice. Our sincere appreciation goes to the GATS Collaborative Group for their commitment and invaluable contributions to the initiative. We would also like to express our gratitude to country collaborators, interviewers, and respondents for being an integral and indispensable part of this initiative. Finally, this would not be possible without the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The authors January 2015

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