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Methods of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey
  1. Changbao Wu1,
  2. Mary E Thompson1,
  3. Geoffrey T Fong1,
  4. Qiang Li1,
  5. Yuan Jiang2,
  6. Yan Yang2,
  7. Guoze Feng2
  1. 1University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Changbao Wu, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2L 3G1; cbwu{at}


This paper describes the design features, data collection methods and analytical strategies of the ITC China Survey, a prospective cohort study of 800 adult smokers and 200 adult non-smokers in each of six cities in China . In addition to features and methods which are common to ITC surveys in other countries, the ITC China Survey possesses unique features in frame construction, a large first phase data enumeration and sampling selection; and it uses special techniques and measures in training, field work organisation and quality control. It also faces technical challenges in sample selection and weight calculation when some selected upper level clusters need to be replaced by new ones owing to massive relocation exercises within the cities.

  • Survey methods
  • longitudinal studies
  • questionnaire design
  • quality control
  • data collection
  • advocacy

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Funding The ITC China Project was supported by grants from the US National Cancer Institute (R01 CA125116 and the Roswell Park Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (P50 CA111236)), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (79551), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Office of Research Ethics at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada), and the Internal Review Boards at: Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, USA), the Cancer Council Victoria (Melbourne, Australia), and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Beijing, China).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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