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Publication Abstract

Authors: Shopland DR, Hartman AM, Gibson JT, Mueller MD, Kessler LG, Lynn WR

Title: Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults by state and region: estimates from the current population survey.

Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst 88(23):1748-58

Date: 1996 Dec 04

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking is responsible for at least one third of all cancer deaths annually in the United States. Few sources exist in the peer-reviewed literature documenting state and regional differences in smoking behavior, despite the fact that cancer prevention and control efforts are increasingly being implemented below the national level. PURPOSE: Our goals were to determine smoking prevalence rates among men and women, by region, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia from census survey data collected in 1992 and 1993 and to compare these rates with rates determined in 1985. METHODS: Every month, the U.S. Bureau of the Census collects labor force statistics on more than 100000 individuals on its Current Population Survey (CPS). For the September 1992, January 1993, and May 1993 CPS, the National Cancer Institute sponsored a 40-item Tobacco Use Supplement. The definition of a current smoker changed slightly between 1985 and 1992-1993. For the 1985 CPS, individuals were considered current smokers if they had smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and were smoking at the time of interview; for the 1992-1993 CPS, current smokers included anyone who had smoked 100 cigarettes and was currently smoking every day or just on some days. We calculated current smoking rates (every day and some days combined) based on more than a quarter million adults (n = 266988) interviewed in 1992-1993. RESULTS: Substantial geographic variation exists in rates of current cigarette use among adults within the United States. In general, adults in the southern United States have higher rates of smoking and adults in the western states have lower rates of smoking and adults in the rest of the country, although differences in smoking behavior between men and women and among various racial and ethnic populations strongly influence these patterns. Only two states, Kentucky and West Virginia, exhibited adult smoking rates (men and women combined) of 30% or higher in 1992-1993; in contrast, in 1985, such rates were reported from 20 states. The only states in which the prevalence was below 20% in 1992-1993 were Utah (17.1%) and California (19.5%). Rates approaching 20% were reported from New Jersey (20.7%), Massachusetts (21.5%), and Nebraska, New York, and Hawaii (22.0% each) in 1992-1993. Rhode Island experienced the greatest relative decline in smoking prevalence from 1985 to 1992-1993, with a calculated relative change of -30.7% (based on a change in rate from 33.5% to 23.2%), followed by Delaware (-25.9%) the District of Columbia and New Jersey (-23.9% each), Connecticut (-23.2%), California (-22.9%), Alaska (-22.8%), Georgia (-22.6%), Massachusetts (-22.1%), and New York (-22.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Smoking rates are not uniform in the United States but vary considerably from state to state, even within the same region of the country. The CPS is the only mechanism currently capable of simultaneously monitoring smoking trends nationally, regionally, and on a state-by-state basis.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013