One of the national health objectives for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence
of cigarette smoking among adults to £ 12% (objective 27.la). To assess
progress toward this objective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) analyzed self-reported data from the 2000 National Health Interview
Survey (NHIS) sample Adult Core questionnaire and Cancer Control module. This
report summarizes the findings of this analysis, which indicate that, in 2000,
approximately 23.3% of adults were current smokers compared with 25.0% in
1993, reflecting a modest but statistically significant decrease in prevalence
among US adults.
In 2000, an estimated 70% of smokers said they wanted to quit, and 41% had
tried to quit during the preceding year; however, marked differences in
successful quitting were observed among demographic groups. A comprehensive
approach to cessation that comprises economic, clinical, regulatory, and
educational strategies is required to further reduce the prevalence of smoking
in the United States.
Representative Sample Surveyed
The 2000 NHIS Adult Core questionnaire was administered by personal
interview to a nationally representative sample (n = 32,374) of the US
noninstitutionalized civilian population aged ³ 18 years; the survey response
rate was 72.1%. Respondents were asked, "Have you smoked ³ l00
cigarettes in your entire life?" and "Do you now smoke cigarettes
every day, some days, or not at all?"
"Ever smokers" were those who reported having smoked ³ 100
cigarettes during their lifetime. Current smokers were ever smokers who
reported smoking every day or some days. Former smokers were ever smokers who
currently did not smoke. Interest in quitting smoking completely and attempts
to quit were determined by asking current smokers, "Would you like to
completely quit smoking cigarettes?" and "During the past 12 months,
have you stopped smoking for 1 day or longer because you were trying to stop
smoking?" Data were adjusted for nonresponses and weighted to provide
national estimates. Confidence intervals were calculated using survey data
analysis (SUDAAN) software.
In 2000, an estimated 46.5 million adults (23.3%) were current smokers.
Overall, 19.1% of adults were everyday smokers and 4.1% were some day smokers.
The prevalence of smoking was higher among men (25.7%) than women (21.0%, see
Table 1). Among racial/ethnic groups, Asians (14.4%), and Hispanics (18.6%)
had the lowest prevalence of adult cigarette use; American Indians/Alaska
Natives had the highest prevalence (36.0%).