Data validation of first study on harmful use of alcohol and tobacco in Tiraspol

WHO

During a roundtable held in Tiraspol on 25–26 February 2016, representatives of central health authorities and specialists discussed the preliminary results of the first knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) study regarding the harmful use of alcohol and tobacco in Transnistria region of the Republic of Moldova. The WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova in collaboration with the Tiraspol central health authority organized the event.

Objectives

The KAP study had 5 objectives.

  1. Assess alcohol and tobacco consumption in the adult population of Transnistria region.
  2. Assess the prevalence of advertising of alcohol and tobacco products.
  3. Assess the prevalence of social advertising and of information about the risks of alcohol and tobacco use.
  4. Assess the level of awareness about alcohol, and attitudes to alcohol and tobacco use.
  5. Identify sources of information about the risks of tobacco and alcohol use.

Preliminary findings

The KAP study drew 6 main preliminary conclusions.

  • 9 out of 10 inhabitants of Transnistria region have tried alcohol; of the 63% who had used alcohol within the last 3 months, 85% of them had used alcohol within the last 30 days.
  • Only 19% of users have tried to reduce their alcohol consumption within the last 30 days; 72% report that they did not intend to reduce their consumption in the future.
  • Notably, 68.5% of respondents report that they were not asked about alcohol use at their last medical check-up.
  • Every third inhabitant of Transnistria region uses tobacco products, and 90% of them smoke on a daily basis. Standard consumption is between 5 and 20 cigarettes per day – 32% smoke 5–10 cigarettes a day and 33% smoke 10–20 cigarettes a day.
  • Smoking prevalence is nearly 3 times higher among men (50%) than women (18%).  
  • On the likelihood of reducing tobacco use in the very near future, 79% of smokers report that they currently smoke as much as they did 30 days ago.

The preliminary results are the first local evidence of the distribution of 2 of the main modifiable risk factors (consumption of alcohol and tobacco) for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Addressing the main risk factors for NCDs has been discussed in the framework of the "Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013–2020" and Health 2020: a European policy framework supporting action across government and society for health and well-being.

About the KAP study

The random sample included 600 respondents aged 16–55 years, and employed quantitative and qualitative components (4 focus groups). The Centre for Sociological Investigations and Marketing Research (SBS AXA) in collaboration with the Centre for Development and Support of Civil Initiatives "Rezonans" from Bender  conducted the study. Data collection took place in October 2015 and had a maximum statistical error of ±4%.

The results of this KAP study will serve as a basis for future awareness campaigns related to health promotion, with special focus on NCDs, alcohol and tobacco control for Transnistria region.

During the roundtable, discussions addressed the collection of health data and the need to ensure standardization, comparability and quality. In addition, data need to be transformed into reliable health information, so it can be used for evidence-informed policy-making. The health sector plans to strengthen the registration of cause-of-death data in its NCD surveillance system and to monitor the impact of activities on the surveillance and control of NCDs.

Background

WHO support for this activity is included in the biennial collaborative agreement 2016–2017 between the Moldovan Ministry of Health and WHO/Europe. The initiative is financially supported by WHO and the Support to Confidence Building Measures Programme funded by the European Union and coordinated by WHO, under technical assistance and capacity-building activities in the health sector.