18 Aug 2008
Knowledge of the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke is fundamental to the development and implementation of effective tobacco control measures.
To fight the tobacco epidemic, governments need to inform their tobacco control interventions with relevant research, scientific assessments, and data on tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke and related social, economic and health indicators.
Research and surveillance assist governments to design effective measures (including measures targeted to particular population sub-groups), and to monitor and evaluate the impact of the measures and make improvements where necessary.
Because the tobacco epidemic is a global problem, spread by an industry that operates globally, research and surveillance need to be undertaken at the regional and global levels as well as within each country.
Research and surveillance data and other relevant information (including scientific and technical information, socio-economic information, and commercial and legal information such as information about activities and practices of the tobacco industry and information about tobacco control measures and their implementation and enforcement) need to be shared between countries, regionally and internationally.