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

ABSTRACT

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.

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