Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) and TQS-Youth Integration Project

Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) was developed with a view to incorporating the globally standardized tobacco questions into the ongoing national and international surveys. The subset of key questions from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) is meant to improve comparability of tobacco data over time by harmonizing tobacco surveillance activities across various ongoing surveys. TQS is a component of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS), which was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other partners to assist countries in establishing tobacco control surveillance and monitoring programs. Article 20 and Article 21 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) emphasizes that an essential component of a comprehensive global tobacco control effort is an efficient and systematic surveillance mechanism to monitor the epidemic.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on the other hand, also aims to reduce the level of exposure of the populations in its member countries to the harmful effects of tobacco through a number of initiatives including, but not limited to, its Strategic Health Programme of Action (OIC-SHPA) 2014-2023, which are expected to help accelerate the implementation of the WHO FCTC in OIC member states. In this context, the TQS integration in the framework of on-going surveys in OIC member states will serve as a mechanism to harmonize and standardize the monitoring of key tobacco control indicators and promote sustainability and integration with other risk factors surveillance initiatives.

The TQS was presented at the 4th Session of the OIC Statistical Commission (OIC-StatCom) in April 2014 where the participating NSOs of OIC countries affirmed that the direct involvement of the NSOs, together with the relevant national and international stakeholders, is imperative to the successful integration of TQS into the ongoing survey for measuring the tobacco epidemic. Since then, SESRIC supervises the integration schemes of the questions found in the Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) booklet into the nationwide surveys of selected OIC countries based on the terms set forth by the CDC and CDC Foundation.

Following the successful implementation of the TQS, the project was expanded to include the integration of Tobacco Questions for Surveys of Youth (TQS-Youth) into the ongoing survey in selected OIC countries. TQS-Youth, the subset of key questions from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) was developed with a view to incorporating the globally standardised tobacco questions for youth into ongoing national surveys.