Smoking data guide
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    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is responsible for producing vital and health statistics for the U.S. population. The diversified program of health surveys and inventories includes the compilation of data and statistics on environmental, social, and other health hazards. This guide presents a summary of the NCHS data gathered during the last 27 years on one such hazard –smoking. Some data are on public use data tapes and some are in published reports. The main purposes of this guide are to identify NCHS data on smoking behavior for the research and public health communities and encourage further use of these data bases.

    Smoking is defined as the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or other tobacco products. Throughout NCHS surveys, cigarette smoking in the general population has provided the most extensive measure of tobacco use in the United States. Cigarette smokers are generally defined as persons who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime.

    The measures of smoking behavior obtained at different times and in different surveys are not always identical or comparable. For example, the measures of smoking cessation from the various surveys have common elements but differ greatly in the leveI of detail obtained. Therefore, users of this guide are encouraged to review carefully the symbols and footnotes presented with the data descriptors.

    In addition to the data on smoking collected in NCHS surveys, NCHS contracted with the Bureau of the Census to collect smoking data in the Current Population Survey in June 1966, August 1967, and August 1968. These data are not available as public use tapes, but results can be found in the following NCHS publications (see guide to symbols on following page): 1966 data –VH 10-59, MVSR 18-9S; 1967 data–MVSR 18-9S; 1968 data–MVSR 18-9S and 19-9S.


  • Content Notes:
    Symbols in body of table -- Smoking data from the NationaI Center for Health Statistics, 1964-92 -- Footnotes -- References.
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