Using the National Health Interview Survey to understand and address the impact of tobacco in the United States: Past perspectives and future considerations

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.
Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations (Impact Factor: 1.58). 01/2009; 5(1):8. DOI: 10.1186/1742-5573-5-8
Source: PubMed


The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a continuous, nationwide, household interview survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. This annual survey is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 1965, the survey and its supplements have provided data on issues related to the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products. This paper describes the survey, provides an overview of peer-reviewed and government-issued research that uses tobacco-related data from the NHIS, and suggests additional areas for exploration and directions for future research.
We performed literature searches using the PubMed database, selecting articles from 1966 to 2008. Study selection. Inclusion criteria were relevancy to tobacco research and primary use of NHIS data; 117 articles met these criteria. Data extraction and synthesis. Tobacco-related data from the NHIS have been used to analyze smoking prevalence and trends; attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs; initiation; cessation and advice to quit; health care practices; health consequences; secondhand smoke exposure; and use of smokeless tobacco. To date, use of these data has had broad application; however, great potential still exists for additional use.
NHIS data provide information that can be useful to both practitioners and researchers. It is important to explore new and creative ways to best use these data and to address the full range of salient tobacco-related topics. Doing so will better inform future tobacco control research and programs.

Download full-text


Available from: David Tran,
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the adverse effects of smoking are well known, limited information exists about the overall health profiles of menthol smokers when compared to their non-menthol smoking counterparts. Using a well-known nationally representative survey, this study examines differences between self-reported health characteristics for menthol and non-menthol smokers. Cross-sectional data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey and its cancer control supplement were used to analyze responses for current and former smokers (n = 12,004) independently. All analyses were conducted using SAS version 9.2 and SAS callable SUDAAN version 9.0.3. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to model menthol smoking. After controlling for sex, age and race, we found that in current smokers the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day is significantly lower for menthol smokers when compared to non-menthol smokers [odds ratio (OR): 0.99; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.98, 1.00]. Also, we found that former menthol smokers had higher body mass indices (BMIs) (OR: 1.01; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.02) and were more likely to have visited the emergency room due to asthma (OR: 2.30, 95% CI: 1.04, 5.09). Overall, current menthol and non-menthol smokers have similar health profiles. However, menthol smokers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day than their non-menthol counterparts. While these findings are supportive of other published data, future studies may need to tease out the health-related significance of smoking fewer menthol cigarettes per day but having similar health outcomes to those who smoke more non-menthol cigarettes per day. Additionally, our findings suggest that there may be some differences between the former menthol and non-menthol smoker.
    Addiction 12/2010; 105 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):124-40. DOI:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03202.x · 4.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the reliability of self-reported smoking history measures. The key measures of interest were time since completely quitting smoking among former smokers; age at which fairly regular smoking was initiated among former and current smokers; the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years of daily smoking among former smokers; and never smoking. Another goal was to examine sociodemographic factors and interview method as potential predictors of the odds of strict agreement in responses. Data from the 2002-2003 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey were examined. Descriptive analysis was performed to detect discrepant data patterns, and intraclass and Pearson correlations and kappa coefficients were used to assess reporting consistency over the 12-month interval. Multiple logistic regression models with replicate weights were built and fitted to identify factors influencing the logit of agreement for each measure of interest. All measures revealed at least moderate levels of overall agreement. However, upon closer examination, a few measures also showed some considerable differences in absolute value. The highest percentage of these differences was observed for former smokers' reports of the number of years smoking every day. Conclusions: Overall, the data suggest that self-reported smoking history characteristics are reliable. The logit of agreement over a 12-month period is shown to depend on a few sociodemographic characteristics as well as their interactions with each other and with interview method.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 02/2012; 14(8):952-60. DOI:10.1093/ntr/ntr313 · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To compare prevalence estimates and assess issues related to the measurement of adult cigarette smoking in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). 2008 data on current cigarette smoking and current daily cigarette smoking among adults ≥18 years were compared. The standard NHIS current smoking definition, which screens for lifetime smoking ≥100 cigarettes, was used. For NSDUH, both the standard current smoking definition, which does not screen, and a modified definition applying the NHIS current smoking definition (i.e., with screen) were used. NSDUH consistently yielded higher current cigarette smoking estimates than NHIS and lower daily smoking estimates. However, with use of the modified NSDUH current smoking definition, a notable number of subpopulation estimates became comparable between surveys. Younger adults and racial/ethnic minorities were most impacted by the lifetime smoking screen, with Hispanics being the most sensitive to differences in smoking variable definitions among all subgroups. Differences in current cigarette smoking definitions appear to have a greater impact on smoking estimates in some sub-populations than others. Survey mode differences may also limit intersurvey comparisons and trend analyses. Investigators are cautioned to use data most appropriate for their specific research questions.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 05/2012; 2012(8):918368. DOI:10.1155/2012/918368
Show more