The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria officially Released the Results of its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) on July 11, 2013. The Honourable Minister of Health of Nigeria, Prof C.O Onyebuchi Chukwu Released the Report on behalf of the President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. GATS is a standard global survey of adults aged 15 years of age or older that was conducted to monitor adult tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in order to be able to effectively track tobacco control interventions. The highlights of the results of the 2012 GATS Nigeria survey are as follows:
10.0% of men, 1.1% of women, and 5.6% overall (4.5 million adults) currently used tobacco products.
29.3% of adults (6.4 million adults) were exposed to tobacco smoke when visiting restaurants.
7 in 10 current smokers planned to or were thinking about quitting.
3 in 10 current smokers who thought about quitting because of a warning label.
51.4% of adults believed smoking causes stroke.
In his remarks during the Occasion, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu said that the Government will fulfill its international commitment to the WHO FCTC, shun any form of dialogue with the Tobacco industry and reassured of his commitment to ensure that the National Tobacco Control Bill is pursued to a logical conclusion. The WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr Rui Gama Vaz in his Statement said that "with the Release of the GATS Report, Nigeria now has an unprecedented opportunity for tobacco control momentum within the country and on the African continent". He also stressed that the GATS Results provides base-line statistics that will provide an opportunity to track progress regarding policy, disease burden and tobacco control measures.
Nigeria is the first-ever country in the African Region to conduct and Release GATS Results. The results from GATS will assist Nigeria in translating data into action through improved policies and programs.
The Nigeria GATS was conducted by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and with the support of the Regional Office of Africa (AFRO) of the World Health Organization and the Country office.
Funding for GATS was provided by the Bloomberg Philanthropies (partners include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, CDC, CDC Foundation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, WHO, and the World Lung Foundation). Technical assistance was provided by CDC, WHO, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and RTI International. CDC Foundation provided program support.