Tobacco use surveillance at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) aims to monitor tobacco-related behaviors, attitudes, health outcomes, and policies at regular intervals of time. This is achieved by conducting surveys to obtain data on adult and youth smoking prevalence, tobacco disparities, smoking cessation, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, attitudes and beliefs around tobacco use, emerging tobacco products, school curriculum and policies, worksite smoking policies and practices, local ordinances related to tobacco use and indoor air quality, and prevention policies to advise smokers to quit in the health care setting. Tobacco use surveillance is also conducted by using existing data available for various tobacco-related diseases such as lung cancer and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases available through the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry, Georgia Hospital Association, State Office of Vital Records, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and DPH Online Analytical Statistical Information System (OASIS). Tobacco use surveillance in Georgia is important to measure achievement of Healthy People 2020 Tobacco Goals.
- To systematically collect tobacco-related data statewide and by public health district.
- To make data reports available to the public and health care professionals.
- To provide tobacco-related data to the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program (GTUPP) and to other public health prevention programs as needed.
- To assist the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program in the planning and evaluation of its program objectives.
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This report provides an overview of the smoking prevalence from years 1985-2009 among adults and from 2003-2009 among youth in Georgia as well as trends in tobacco-related cancer incidence and mortality rates. The current prevalence of adult cigarette smoking was used to project future incidence of lung cancer up to the year 2020. The results show the need for full implementation of the state’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program.
Georgia Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS)
The Georgia Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) is a survey of public middle and high school students. The Georgia YTS was first conducted in 2001 and then four years later in 2005. It has been conducted every two years since 2009 and uses a sample that represents the state as a whole. The YTS provides comprehensive data on various tobacco-related topics for middle and high school students in the state. Topics include: tobacco use, access to tobacco products, smoking cessation, healthcare provider advice about the dangers of using tobacco, knowledge and attitudes about tobacco, social influences for tobacco use, exposure of tobacco products in the media and the internet, and exposure to secondhand smoke.
A two-stage cluster sample design is used to produce a representative sample of students in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. In the first stage, schools are selected randomly within the grade range specified with a probability proportional to enrollment size. At the second stage, classes are randomly selected from within the selected schools and all the students within a selected class are surveyed. YTS data are weighted to adjust for any unequal probabilities of selection, nonresponse, and disproportionate selection of different population groups. Results from the YTS can be used to make inferences concerning tobacco use risk behaviors of all regular public middle and high school students in Georgia.
Georgia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
The Georgia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) obtains information from a sample of public middle and high school students about the prevalence and age of initiation of various health risk behaviors including tobacco use. The YRBS is conducted every other year and, like the YTS, uses a two-stage cluster sample design.
Georgia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an on-going state-based surveillance system, has been gathering information about current adult cigarette smoking, chronic diseases, and related risk factors since 1984. The BRFSS is an random-digit dialed telephone survey of the non-institutionalized adult population ages 18 years and older. Since the BRFSS is conducted every year, it is used as the primary data source for determining current adult smoking prevalence in Georgia. Information on smoking cessation attempts and secondhand smoke exposure are also collected.
Georgia Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS)
The Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) is a stratified, random-digit dialed, telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults ages 18 years and older. The ATS has been conducted every 4-5 years in Georgia since 2004. This survey collects state-level data on adult tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure, quitting behaviors, existing chronic conditions and diseases, and opinions and attitudes related to tobacco use and tobacco-free policies. Information from this survey can be used to plan, evaluate, and improve programs that address tobacco use, cessation, and secondhand smoke exposure.
Georgia's latest ATS was conducted during 2009-2010 in conjunction with the National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS). The NATS was designed as a stratified, random-digit dialed landline and cell phone survey of non-institutionalized adults ages 18 years and older. It was designed to yield data representative and comparable at both national and state levels. Georgia added an additional sample to the 2009-2010 NATS to allow data to be analyzed at the public health district level as well as the state level. A total of 4,683 landline and 231 cell phone respondents completed the survey for Georgia. Data were weighted to remove sampling and non-response bias and to generalize the data to the Georgia population.