Tobacco use is one of the most common risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The World Health Organization (WHO) country estimates of 2010 showed that NCDs accounted for 27% of all deaths in Tanzania. In 2008, it was estimated that in Tanzania, NCDs caused a total of 75.7 and 58.8 deaths per 1,000 population, of which 42.8% and 28.5% were below age 60 years among males and females respectively.
Tobacco use is a risk factor that cuts across all four main Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) categories – cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes . It is a major preventable cause of premature death and disease worldwide and it kills more than 7 million people a year globally. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, while around 890,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to SHS . An efficient and systematic surveillance system is important to monitor tobacco use and evaluate tobacco prevention and control interventions . The Tanzania Tobacco Act of 2003 and its regulations of 2014 provide a foundation for Tobacco Control Policy.
Tanzania has an estimated population of 54.2 million people (2018 Population projections) and it produces a large amount of tobacco products for export and for internal use. GATS Tanzania 2018 showed that there is a large proportion of passive smokers in the country (at workplaces 32.9% and at home 13.8%). Passive smoking is one of the major public health concerns in the country, therefore, establishing baseline information on key tobacco control indicators is critical to prevent and reduce tobacco use.