Effective surveillance and monitoring

An effective and sustainable system is essential to monitor the tobacco epidemic and evaluate the impact of tobacco control interventions. The timely dissemination of information, so that action can be taken, is equally important.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) addresses surveillance in Articles 20 and 21:

Article 20 says that “The Parties shall establish, as appropriate, programmes for national, regional and global surveillance of the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Towards this end, the Parties should integrate tobacco surveillance programmes into national, regional and global health surveillance programmes so that data are comparable and can be analysed at the regional and international levels, as appropriate.”

Article 21 on reporting and exchange of information, requires that Parties submit: “... periodic reports on its implementation of this Convention, which should include...information on surveillance and research as specified in Article 20”.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe works with its Member States and other partners to:

  • Encourage the use of standards and scientific and evidence-based protocols for tobacco surveys
  • Build capacity to conduct and implement surveys, as well as effectively disseminate and use the results
  • Develop, maintain and report data to monitor tobacco control policies
  • Develop, maintain and report data on health outcomes related to tobacco use and exposure