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"Monitor" is the M of the MPOWER tobacco control measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), and this month The Union and the US Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) launched a survey to track the impact of tobacco control policies in 12 Chinese cities.

The Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS) is a subset of key questions from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) that was designed by WHO and the US CDC to produce national and sub-national estimates on tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke and quit attempts among adults across countries. It also indirectly measures the impact of tobacco control and prevention initiatives.

The TQS survey will provide valuable data (either baseline or follow-up) to evaluate the impact of local laws on tobacco use. Twelve Chinese cities will implement TQS in 2013: Anshan, Changchun, Harbin, Hangzhou, Karamay, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Nanchang, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen, and Tianjin. Of the 12, the survey will be financially supported by The Union in Nanchang, Shenyang and Shenzhen; and the US CDC will support the remainder. The overarching goal of the current project is to build national tobacco control capacity and coordinate sub-national smokefree legislation establishment and implementation.

Government bodies in six of the 12 cities to be surveyed are BI sub-grantees to develop, pass and implement smokefree legislation. Harbin and Tianjin passed their smoke-free legislation on 31 May 2012; and, in Shenzhen and Lanzhou, the local People's Congress Committees are reviewing proposed tobacco control legislation, which is expected to pass in both cities by the end of 2013. Shenyang and Nanchang are at an earlier stage in the process and are currently working to circumvent or remove the key opposition from local governmental stakeholders on the establishment of 100% smokefree legislation.

The MPOWER measures are:

M = monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
P = protect people from tobacco smoke
O = offer help to quit tobacco
W = warn about the dangers of tobacco
E = enforce bans on tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship
R = raise taxes on tobacco

 

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