Chapter 4. Tobacco Use
The NHSDA includes a series of questions asking about the use of several tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, and pipe tobacco. For analysis purposes, data for chewing tobacco and snuff are combined and referred to as "smokeless tobacco." Cigarette use is counted if respondents reported smoking "part or all of a cigarette." Findings from the 2000 NHSDA are summarized below.
- An estimated 65.5 million Americans reported current use of a tobacco product in 2000, a prevalence rate of 29.3 percent for the population aged 12 and older. Among that same population, 55.7 million (24.9 percent) smoked cigarettes, 10.7 million (4.8 percent) smoked cigars, 7.6 million (3.4 percent) used smokeless tobacco, and 2.1 million (1.0 percent) smoked tobacco in pipes (Figure 4.1).
- Although the rate of cigarette use was lower in 2000 than in 1999, the difference between 25.8 percent to 24.9 percent is not statistically significant. However, the rate of past year use of cigarettes decreased significantly between 1999 and 2000, from 30.1 percent to 29.1 percent.
- There was a statistically significant decrease in current cigar use between 1999 and 2000, from 5.5 percent to 4.8 percent for the population aged 12 and older. Rates of use of smokeless tobacco and pipes were unchanged between 1999 and 2000.
- In 2000, current cigarette smoking rates increased steadily by year of age up to age 20, from 1.8 percent at age 12 to 41.4 percent at age 20. Overall, 13.4 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were current cigarette smokers. Among young adults aged 18 to 25 years, the rate was 38.3 percent, and among adults aged 26 and older the rate was 24.2 percent. After age 25, rates generally declined, reaching 19.1 percent for persons aged 60 to 64 years and 9.8 percent for persons aged 65 and older (Figure 4.2).
- Current cigarette use declined significantly among youths aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25 between 1999 and 2000. For youths, the rate of past month use declined from 14.9 percent in 1999 to 13.4 percent in 2000. The young adult rates were 39.7 percent in 1999 and 38.3 percent in 2000. No significant change was observed in the smoking rate for adults aged 26 and older (24.9 percent in 1999 and 24.2 percent in 2000) (Figures 4.3 and 4.4).
- Smokeless tobacco use was most prevalent among young adults. Past month use of smokeless tobacco was reported by 5.0 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 years in 2000, a decrease from 5.7 percent in 1999. Rates were relatively stable among youth aged 12 to 17 (2.1 percent in 2000) and among persons aged 26 and older (3.3 percent in 2000) (Figures 4.3 and 4.4).
- As with other tobacco products, the 18 to 25 year old age group reported the highest prevalence of cigar use in 2000. About one out of ten young adults 18 to 25 years of age (10.4 percent) reported smoking cigars in the month prior to survey. This rate is significantly lower than the rate in 1999 (11.5 percent). Declines in cigar use were also found for youths aged 12 to 17 (from 5.4 percent in 1999 to 4.5 percent in 2000) and for adults aged 26 and older (4.5 percent in 1999 and 3.9 percent in 2000) (Figures 4.3 and 4.4).
- In 2000, males were more likely than females to report past month use of any tobacco product. In 2000, 35.2 percent of males aged 12 and older were current users of any tobacco product compared to 23.9 percent of females.
- Males aged 12 and older were slightly more likely to smoke cigarettes than were females (26.9 percent vs. 23.1 percent) in 2000. For youths aged 12 to 17, the rate was higher for females (14.1 percent) than males (12.8 percent). Between 1999 and 2000, the rate of cigarette use among males aged 12 to 17 decreased significantly from 14.8 percent to 12.8 percent. The rate for females aged 12 to 17 was 15.0 percent in 1999, and the decrease to 14.1 percent in 2000 is not statistically significant.
- Males were ten times more likely than their female counterparts to report current use of smokeless tobacco in 2000 (6.5 percent of males aged 12 and older compared with 0.5 percent of females).
- As seen for smokeless tobacco, males were more likely than females to report past month cigar use. Specifically, males were five times more likely than females to report the past month use of cigars (8.4 percent compared to 1.5 percent). Significant decreases in cigar use were observed for both males and females between 1999 and 2000.
- Based on 1999 and 2000 combined data, 18.6 percent of pregnant women aged 15 to 44 in smoked cigarettes, compared to 29.8 percent of nonpregnant women of the same age.
- American Indians and Alaska Natives were more likely than any other race/ethnicity group to report the use of tobacco products in 2000. For past month use among persons aged 12 and older, 55.0 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives reported using at least one form of tobacco. This rate is significantly higher than the rate for this group in 1999 (43.1 percent). The lowest current tobacco use rate in 2000 was observed for Asians (17.9 percent).
- In 2000, current cigarette smoking rates among persons aged 12 and older were 42.3 percent among American Indians/Alaska Natives, 32.3 percent among persons reporting more than one race, 25.9 percent among whites, 23.3 percent for blacks, 20.7 percent for Hispanics, and 16.5 percent for Asians.
- Based on 1999 and 2000 combined data, the rate of current cigarette use in the population aged 12 and older varies across Asian and Hispanic subgroups. The rates for Asians during that period were 27.0 percent for Koreans, 23.7 percent for Japanese, 21.0 percent for Vietnamese, 17.3 percent for Filipinos, 13.4 percent for Chinese, and 12.4 percent for Asian Indians. Among Hispanics aged 12 and older, Puerto Ricans had the highest rate of current cigarette use (26.8 percent). Rates were 21.7 percent for Mexicans, 19.4 percent for Central or South Americans, and 19.4 percent for Cubans (Figure 4.5).
- The prevalence of cigarette smoking decreased with increasing levels of education. Among adults aged 18 and older in 2000, college graduates were the least likely to report smoking cigarettes (13.9 percent) compared to 27.7 percent of adults with some college, 31.1 percent of adults with only a high school diploma, and 32.4 percent of adults who lacked a high school diploma.
- Young adults aged 18 to 22 enrolled full-time in college in 2000 were less likely than their peers not enrolled full-time (this category includes part-time college students and persons not enrolled in college), to report current cigarette use. Past month cigarette use was reported by 31.4 percent of full-time college students compared to 43.7 percent of their peers who were not enrolled full-time.
- Rates of current cigarette smoking were 44.2 percent for unemployed adults aged 18 and older in 2000, compared to 28.8 percent of full-time employed adults and 26.0 percent of adults working part-time.
- Rates of smokeless tobacco use by employment status in 2000 displayed a somewhat different pattern than rates of cigarette use. The rates of past month smokeless tobacco use among adults were 4.6 percent for those employed full-time, 3.6 percent among unemployed persons, and 1.6 percent among part-time workers.
- Cigarette use rates varied little by region of the country in 2000. Past month cigarette use ranged from a low of 23.1 percent for persons living in the Pacific Division to 26.9 percent of persons living in the East South Central part of the country.
- Although rates of cigarette use did not vary much by population density in 2000, they tended to be higher in less densely populated areas. In large metropolitan areas, 23.5 percent smoked in the past month, compared with 25.8 percent in small metropolitan areas and 26.9 percent in nonmetropolitan areas, and 27.4 percent in completely rural nonmetropolitan areas. Smoking rates showed more variation by population density among youths aged 12 to 17. For youths in large metropolitan areas, 11.6 percent smoked in the past month, compared with 17.6 percent of youths in completely rural nonmetropolitan areas.
Frequency of Use
- Of the 55.7 million current smokers in 2000, 64.6 percent (35.9 million) reported smoking every day in the past 30 days. However, among smokers aged 12 to 17, only 31.8 percent were daily smokers. Also, while 55.2 percent of all daily smokers aged 12 and older smoked a pack or more a day, only 24.1 percent of youth daily smokers reported smoking a pack or more a day (Figure 4.6).
Association with Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use
- Cigarette smokers are more likely to use other tobacco products, illicit drugs and alcohol than are nonsmokers. Among past month smokers in 2000, 39.4 percent were binge alcohol users and 13.6 percent were heavy alcohol users. Among nonsmokers,14.4 percent were binge alcohol users and 3.0 percent were heavy alcohol users. Only 3.2 percent of nonsmokers were current illicit drug users, compared with 15.6 percent of smokers.
Usual Brand Used
- Three brands account for most of adolescent cigarette smoking in 2000. Among current smokers who were 12 to 17 years of age, 54.8 percent reported Marlboro as their usual brand. Newport was reported by 23.4 percent of youth smokers, and Camel was reported by 10.0 percent. No other individual cigarette brand was reported by even 2 percent of youths. These patterns were the same as in 1999.
- There are notable racial/ethnic differences with regard to brand of cigarette smoked most often in the month prior to survey. In 2000, almost half of white smokers aged 12 and older (43.8 percent) and more than half of Hispanic smokers (57.1 percent) reported smoking Marlboro. Among black smokers, only 6.7 percent reported Marlboro as their usual brand, while 40.9 percent smoked Newport. There were no significant changes in these rates between 1999 and 2000.
- Racial/ethnic differences in usual cigarette brand used were also evident among youth smokers aged 12 to 17. More than half of white (58.8 percent) and Hispanic (52.5 percent) youth smokers reported Marlboro as their usual brand. About four-fifths (79.2 percent) of black adolescent smokers reported Newport as their usual brand. Between 1999 and 2000, the percent of Hispanic youth smokers who reported Newport as their usual brand increased from 18.7 percent to 31.4 percent.
Youth Access to Cigarettes
- Among youth smokers aged 12 to 17 in 2000, more than half (59.4 percent) reported that they personally bought cigarettes at least once in the past month. Approximately one-third of youth smokers (33.8 percent) reported buying cigarettes at a store where the clerk hands out the cigarettes.
- Among youth smokers aged 12 and 13 years old, 45.8 percent reported that they personally bought cigarettes in the past month. However, only 11.3 percent of smokers aged 12 and 13 reported buying cigarettes at a store where the clerk hands out the cigarettes. More than a third of smokers aged 12 and 13 reported buying cigarettes from a friend, relative, or someone at school.
- About two-thirds (65.2 percent) of youth smokers aged 12 to 17 reported that friends or relatives bought cigarettes for them at least one time in the past month.
This page was last updated on June 03, 2008.