Current tobacco use among adults in the United States: findings from the National Adult Tobacco Survey

Am J Public Health. 2012 Nov;102(11):e93-e100. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301002. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


Objectives: We assessed the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of tobacco use among US adults.

Methods: We used data from the 2009-2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey, a national landline and cell phone survey of adults aged 18 years and older, to estimate current use of any tobacco; cigarettes; cigars, cigarillos, or small cigars; chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip; water pipes; snus; and pipes. We stratified estimates by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, income, sexual orientation, and US state.

Results: National prevalence of current use was 25.2% for any tobacco; 19.5% for cigarettes; 6.6% for cigars, cigarillos, or small cigars; 3.4% for chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip; 1.5% for water pipes; 1.4% for snus; and 1.1% for pipes. Tobacco use was greatest among respondents who were male, younger, of non-Hispanic "other" race/ethnicity, less educated, less wealthy, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Prevalence ranged from 14.1% (Utah) to 37.4% (Kentucky).

Conclusions: Tobacco use varies by geography and sociodemographic factors, but remains prevalent among US adults. Evidence-based prevention strategies are needed to decrease tobacco use and the health and economic burden of tobacco-related diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult