The Monitoring



Overview and retrospective

Based on recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union, and the Federal Commission for Tobacco Prevention, on August 16, 1995 the Federal Council passed a package of measures for the years 1996-1999 designed to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco on health (Bundesamt für Gesundheit, 1996). The focus of the tobacco program 1996-1999 was on primary prevention, increased protections for non-smokers, and promotion and support of smoking cessation.

As a decision-making basis for implementation of these measures, a continuous survey of tobacco use was needed, for a feasibility study (Krebs & Demarmels, 1998) on indicators for tobacco use in Switzerland showed that the periodic surveys on tobacco use in Switzerland available at that time did not meet the requirements of an efficient monitoring survey. What was needed was a continuous survey that has a sufficiently large sample, a carefully designed catalogue of questions, flexible options for extending the survey, and rapid evaluation and communication of the data collected.

In November 2000, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) commissioned the Social and Health Psychology unit of the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich and Hans Krebs, Kommunikation und Publikumsforschung Zürich, to develop and implement a modular research system (called Tobacco Monitoring Switzerland) for a representative and continuous survey of tobacco consumption in the Swiss population. Since 2004 the Tobacco Monitoring has been funded by the Tobacco Prevention Fund. At the same time that the FOPH commissioned the survey, it developed the national smoking prevention program 2001-2005, with 12 objectives, based in part on experience with the earlier package of measures mentioned above (BAG, 2001). In 2005 the Federal Council voted (decided) to extend the program through 2007 and in addition to develop a new, multi-year program (BAG, 2005), called the ‘National Programme Tobacco 2008-2012.’ The program, approved in June 2008, has three main goals (reduce the number of smokers in the total population and among young people and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke) and 11 strategic objectives (including non-smoking is self-understood, smoking cessation support, ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (BAG, 2008)).



1 Formerly Eidgenössische Kommission für Tabakfragen (Federal Tobacco Commission).

2 Bundesamt für Gesundheit (1996). Massnahmenpaket zur Verminderung der gesundheitsschädigenden Auswirkungen des Tabakkonsums. Bern: BAG, Facheinheit Sucht und Aids.

3 Krebs, H. & Demarmels, B. (1998). Indikatoren für den Tabakkonsum in der Schweiz. Machbarkeitsstudie im Auftrag des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit.

4 Bundesamt für Gesundheit (2001). Nationales Programm zur Tabakprävention 2001-2005. Bern: BAG.

5 Bundesamt für Gesundheit (2005). Nationales Tabakpräventionsprogramm verlängert (Bulletin 32/05, S. 569). Bern: BAG.

6 Bundesamt für Gesundheit (2008). Nationales Programm Tabak 2008-2012. Bern: BAG.


Tobacco Monitoring Switzerland. Development and implementation on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Funded by the Tobacco Prevention Fund.
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