31% of adults 15 years and older smoke in Almaty, Kazakhstan

A tobacco adult survey was conducted in Almaty, Kazakhstan during July to November 2013, as part of the city programme “Smokefree Almaty”, sponsored by department of  internal policy of Almaty akimat (Mayor). This survey was done in parallel to another study in Almaty called the “Secret Visitor”, where observations were made on the compliance of current tobacco control policies, such as smoke-free environments in public places.

The results of the survey and study were announced at a press conference on 10 December in Almaty and revealed:

  • 31% of the adult population (15 years and older) are current smokers, with 28% smoking daily. 44% of these are male and 14% are female.
  • a daily smoker smokes an average of 15 cigarettes per day;
  • 92% support a ban on smoking in indoor public places, and 81% support a ban on smoking in outdoor public places;
  • 66% of all cafes, bars, restaurants, karoke places, nightclubs and canteens allow smoking indoors;
  • only 22% of these establishments have signs banning smoking indoors, and only 5.6% have such signs at the entrance;
  • 68% of smokers believe that the strong pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in Kazakhstan impact the desire to quit smoking or never start smoking;
  • only 21% of smokers who had visited a doctor recently had been advised to quit, while this is even lower (13%) among those aged 15-24 years old.

This survey and study were carried out by the independent research agency BRIF Research Group. Technical support for the survey was provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta and National coalition for Smokefree Kazakstan.  The survey was modelled after the Tobacco Questions for Surveys (TQS), which is a subset of questions from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). 2,300 adults over the age of 15 years were surveyed.