The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) began development of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) in 1999 to track trends over time in tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and environmental influences.
The GTSS implementation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region started in 1999 by piloting the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in Jordan, after which the first workshop on the GYTS was held in Rabat, Morocco in 2001 to train all countries on implementation. Since, the GTSS is being implemented in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region on a regular basis.
The GTSS includes the collection of data through four surveys: the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS); the Global School Personnel Survey (GSPS); the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS); and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).
The purpose of the GTSS is to enhance the capacity of countries to design, implement and evaluate their national comprehensive tobacco action plan and to monitor the key articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The GYTS focuses on youth aged 13–15 years and collects information in schools.
The GSPS surveys teachers and administrators from the same schools that participate in the GYTS.
The GHPSS focuses on third year students pursuing degrees in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacology.
The GATS, a household survey, monitors tobacco use among adults.