3.a.1 Prevalence of Current Tobacco Use (Persons age 15+)
Target 3.a: Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Custodian Organization: World Health Organization (WHO); Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Tier Classification: Tier I
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: The indicator is defined as the percentage of the population aged 15 years and over who currently use any tobacco product (smoked and/or smokeless tobacco) on a daily or non-daily basis.
Concepts: Tobacco use means use of smoked and/or smokeless tobacco products. “Current use” means use within the previous 30 days at the time of the survey, whether daily or non-daily use.
Tobacco products means products entirely or partly made of the leaf tobacco as raw material intended for human consumption through smoking, sucking, chewing or sniffing. “Smoked tobacco products” include cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, cheroots, bidis, pipes, shisha (water pipes), roll-your-own tobacco, kretek and any other form of tobacco that is consumed by smoking.
“Smokeless tobacco product” includes moist snuff, creamy snuff, dry snuff, plug, dissolvables, gul, loose leaf, red tooth powder, snus, chimo, gutkha, khaini, gudakhu, zarda, quiwam, dohra, tuibur, nasway, naas, naswar, shammah, toombak, paan (betel quid with tobacco), iq’mik, mishri, tapkeer, tombol and any other tobacco product that consumed by sniffing, holding in the mouth or chewing.
Prevalence estimates have been “age-standardized” to make them comparable across all countries no matter the demographic profile of the country. This is done by applying each country’s age-and-sex specific prevalence rates to the WHO Standard Population. The resulting rates are hypothetical numbers which are only meaningful when comparing rates obtained for one country with those obtained for another country.
Rationale: Tobacco use is a major contributor to illness and death from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). There is no proven safe level of tobacco use or of second-hand smoke exposure. All daily and non-daily users of tobacco are at risk of a variety of poor health outcomes across the life-course, including NCDs. Reducing the prevalence of current tobacco use will make a large contribution to reducing premature mortality from NCDs (Target 3.4). Routine and regular monitoring of this indicator is necessary to enable accurate monitoring and evaluation of the impact of implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), or tobacco control policies in the countries that are not yet Parties to the WHO FCTC, over time. Tobacco use prevalence levels are an appropriate indicator of implementation of SDG Target 3.a “Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate”.
Limitations: Raw data collected through nationally representative population-based surveys in the countries are used to calculate comparable estimates for this indicator. Information from subnational surveys are not used.
While less than 1 in 5 countries are currently reporting on all types of tobacco use, three-quarters of countries have robust data on tobacco smoking. Until the majority of countries are reporting on all types of tobacco use (smoked and smokeless), this indicator will be populated with tobacco smoking rates. In some countries, all tobacco use and tobacco smoking may be equivalent, but for many countries, smoking rates will be lower than tobacco use rates to some degree.
The comparability, quality and frequency of household surveys affects the accuracy and quality of the estimates. Non-comparability of data can arise from the use of different survey instruments, sampling and analysis methods, and indicator definitions across Member States. Surveys may cover a variety of age ranges (not always 15+) and be repeated at irregular intervals. Surveys may include a variety of different tobacco products, or sometimes only one product such as cigarettes, based on the country’s perception of which products are important to monitor. Unless both smoked and smokeless products are monitored simultaneously, tobacco use prevalence will be under-reported. Countries have begun to monitor use of e-cigarettes and other emerging products, which may confound countries’ definitions of tobacco use. The definition of current use may not always be restricted to the 30 days prior to the survey. In addition, surveys ask people to self-report their tobacco use, which can lead to under-reporting of tobacco use.
There is no standard protocol used across Member States to ask people about their tobacco use. WHO’s Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) have been adopted in many surveys, which helps improve comparability of indicators across countries.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.
3.a.1 Prevalence of Current Tobacco Use (Persons age 15+) in the Sustainable Development Goals
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3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.