Monday, April 19, 2010

Results from the Adult Tobacco Survey

The April 16, 2010 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report includes data collected by the Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) during February 2003 – November 2007. Among 33 ATSs conducted in 19 states, current cigarette use by adults ranged from 13.3% (Hawaii in 2006) to 25.4% (West Virginia in 2005), with a median of: 19.2%. Among young adults aged 18-29, current cigarette use ranged from 15.8% (Hawaii in 2006) to 40.4% (West Virginia in 2005), with a median of: 26.7%.

The survey also found that with the exception of smokeless tobacco use and pipe use, the median prevalence of current use of each tobacco product was consistently highest among adults aged 18-24 years and lowest among adults aged ≥65 years. Polytobacco use ¬– current use of multiple tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco or smokeless tobacco – was also explored in the survey. The percentage of adults using two tobacco products ranged from 10.6% (South Carolina in 2007) to 18.6% (Oklahoma in 2004) (median 14.5%). The percentage of adults using three tobacco products ranged from 1.6% (South Carolina in 2007) to 4.6% (Ohio in 2006) (median 2.9%). The percentage of adults using all four tobacco products ranged from 0.0% (Iowa in 2004, Oklahoma in 2004, and South Carolina in 2007) to 0.6% (Georgia in 2004) (median 0.3%).

Adults who were employed for wages or self-employed were asked whether their employer had offered any programs to help them stop smoking or any other types of help to employees who wanted to quit smoking. Among 12 ATSs, the percentage of adults (smokers and nonsmokers combined) who reported that their employer offered any cessation programs ranged from 19.7% (New Mexico in 2003) to 28.6% (South Carolina in 2007) (median: 23.4%). The percentage of current smokers who reported employer-offered smoking cessation programs ranged from 13.5% (Idaho in 2005) to 22.5% (Iowa in 2006) (median: 18.4%).

Based on the results of the survey, CDC recommends that states establish, maintain, and fund comprehensive tobacco control programs, at least at CDC-recommended levels, to reduce tobacco-related deaths and diseases. CDC regularly evaluates the recommended state ATS questions with a goal of more closely aligning the questions with short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcome indicators to measure progress toward National Tobacco Control Program goals.

The Adult Tobacco Survey is a random-digit--dialed telephone survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged ≥18 years that collects data on tobacco use, smoking cessation, secondhand smoke exposure, risk perception and social influences, health influences, and tobacco-related policy issues in the United States.

Brandi Robinson
Program Associate
Partnership for Prevention


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