Despite the growing problem of tobacco epidemic in Easter Europe and Former Soviet Union, there is a lack of national based scientific data that could serve as an evidence for appropriate policy level interventions.
A population-based national cross-sectional survey was conducted using the WHO STEPwise approach to non-communicable disease risk factor surveillance in aged 18-69 age group. A multi-stage cluster sample design and weighting were used to produce a national representative data for that age range. Total number of participants who took part in the survey was 5554.
The prevalence of tobacco use, both smoking and smokeless together was 31.1%, 57.1% in men and 7.1% in women respectively. 29.9% of current tobacco users reported smoking cigarettes, among them 55.3% men and 6.6% women respectively. Biggest majority of current cigarette smokers were also defined as daily smokers, 51% men and 6.2 % women respectively. Mean age of starting smoking was reported 17.8 in men and 22.4 in women. Smokeless tobacco was used only by 0.3% of adult Georgian population, among them 0.6% men and 0.1% women respectively. 43% of all participants were exposed to passive smoking at home, about 16% at the workplace.
Tobacco use and second hand exposure to tobacco smoke was a significant public health concern in Georgia. Cigarette smoking was identified as almost exclusive form of tobacco use in Georgia. This study provides the data which can be used by policy makers to shape evidence-based policies and targeted interventions.|