SESRIC, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation, organised the Orientation Workshop on “Tobacco Questions for Surveys of Youth (TQS-Youth)” on 09-10 May 2023 at SESRIC Headquarters in Ankara, Republic of Türkiye. The Workshop was participated by 43 delegates from the National Statistical Offices (NSOs), Ministries of Health, and Ministry of Youth of 18 OIC member countries. The representatives of the CDC, CDC Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO) Türkiye Country Office, and Turkish Green Crescent also participated in the Workshop. The objective of the Workshop was to provide additional information and technical support to the participants in integrating TQS-Youth into the ongoing youth-related national surveys in their respective countries.
The Workshop was inaugurated with the welcoming remarks of CDC Foundation, CDC and SESRIC. In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Natalie BISHOP, Senior Programme Officer at the CDC Foundation, recognized SESRIC’s leadership in supervising the implementation of Tobacco Questions of Surveys (TQS) and TQS-Youth in OIC member countries. She further expressed eagerness to hear about countries’ experiences and opportunities in integrating TQS-Youth questions into their surveys. Ms Bishop emphasized the importance of tracking and monitoring the tobacco epidemic is crucial to curb the global tobacco epidemic and saving millions of lives.
The Opening Session continued with the remarks from Dr. Indu B. AHLUWALIA, the Branch Chief of the Global Tobacco Control Program at the CDC. She expressed her gratitude to the participating countries and their continued commitment to national tobacco control strategies and international Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) prevention efforts. Dr. Ahluwalia highlighted the importance of monitoring tobacco use through TQS surveys to track indicators and targets outlined by WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and WHO Global Monitoring Framework, including a 30% relative reduction in current tobacco use by 2025. Lastly, Dr. Ahluwalia reinforced the CDC’s commitment to providing technical assistance and reliable data through integrated TQS and TQS-Youth surveys.
The opening remarks of H.E. Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt SELÇUK, Director General of SESRIC, were delivered by Dr. Atilla KARAMAN, Director of Statistics and Information Department of SESRIC. In the speech, the importance of surveillance as a tool in fight against tobacco use among youth was emphasized. Effective surveillance systems can help monitor the tobacco epidemic and evaluate the impact of tobacco control policies, leading to better protection of youth health. TQS and TQS-Youth were exemplified as a cost-efficient, reliable and effective framework for monitoring the tobacco epidemic. Finally, the speech expressed that national surveys of member countries with standardised set of tobacco questions support a healthier and more prosperous future for the youth of member countries.
During the two-day Workshop, the following topics were presented:
At the Closing Session, H.E. Mrs. Zehra Zümrüt SELÇUK, Director General of SESRIC, highlighted the importance of youth health and wellbeing for the socio-economic development of the Islamic world. H.E. Mrs. Selçuk emphasized that tobacco negatively contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs to tobacco, and the economic costs of tobacco use are significant. In her final speech, she expressed the hope that the TQS and TQS-Youth integration into ongoing surveys will improve tobacco use surveillance in OC countries, facilitating the work of national institutions and creating comparable time series data for policy formulation and implementation. The critical information provided by TQS-Youth was emphasized as essential for policymakers to address youth health challenges.
For more information on TQS and TQS-Youth Integration Project, please visit: https://tqs.sesric.org