RESEARCH PAPER
Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in Poland 2009-2010 – study strengths, limitations and lessons learned
 
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1
Department of Preventive Medicine, Medical University, Lodz, Poland
2
Department of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States
3
Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
4
Institute of Rheumatology, Warsaw, Poland
5
Public Health Faculty, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Mother and Child Health, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
7
Department of Hygiene, Chair of Social Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
8
Department of Biopharmacology, Medical University, Lodz, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(4):717–722
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Objectives:
A tobacco surveillance system is crucial for improving the planning and implementation of effective tobacco control policies. The purpose of the presented study was to describe a review of the process of implementation and methodological assumption of a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted in Poland. The study strengths and limitations are evaluated, as well as some recommendations given for further tobacco surveillance activities in Poland.

Material and Methods:
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was implemented in Poland between 2008-2010. The survey population selection process was based on a three-stage stratified geographically-clustered sample of a non-institutional population aged 15 years and over. Those who lived in institutions were not surveyed. The GATS questionnaire was very detailed and provides a significant amount of data. The filed work was preceded by several training sessions for all survey staff and the pretest. Questionnaires were administered in respondents’ homes during the face-to-face interviews.

Results:
Of the 14,000 households selected for the survey, 8,948 (63.9%) households and 7,840 (93.9%) sampled individuals completed the interviews. The total survey response rate was 65.1%.

Conclusions:
GATS was an important step towards obtaining representative, current data on the tobacco epidemic in Poland. Basic results of the study are currently available. More in-depth analysis will provide useful data for public health experts and policymakers to assign resources and establish health priorities. Unfortunately, competing targets and lack of awareness on the part of stakeholders still constrains the financial resources available to those undertaking tobacco control research in Poland. The circumscribed capacity to undertake multidisciplinary policy research limits both the quality and quantity of such studies. There is an urgent need to establish a nationally coordinated plan for surveillance of data collection, use, access and dissemination, with defined institutional roles for each of these functions and the funds dedicated to the research.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors express their thanks to the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a programme of the Bloomberg Philanthropies, for financial support. Thanks are also due to Professor Witold Zatonski, representative of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Scientic Committee in Poland; Dr. Lubna Bhatti, and Dr. Sameer Pujari, our partners from the World Health Organization; Krzysztof Przewoźniak and Jakub Łobaszewski, members of the Technical and Survey Staff Team; Dr. Samira Asma and Dr. Krishna Mohan Palipudi at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The contributions and support of the Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw; the Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw; the CDC Foundation; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg, School of Public Health; and RTI International are also gratefully acknowledged.
 
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