Rural tobacco use across the United States: How rural and urban areas differ, broken down by census regions and divisions

Health Place. 2016 May;39:153-9. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.04.001. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


This project compared urban/rural differences in tobacco use, and examined how such differences vary across regions/divisions of the U.S. Using pooled 2012-2013 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we obtained weighted prevalence estimates for the use of cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, and pipes. NSDUH also provides information on participants' residence: rural vs. urban, and Census region and division. Overall, use of cigarettes, chew, and snuff were higher in rural, compared to urban areas. Across all tobacco products, urban/rural differences were particularly pronounced in certain divisions (e.g., the South Atlantic). Effects did not appear to be fully explained by differences in poverty. Going beyond previous research, these findings show that urban/rural differences vary across different types of tobacco products, as well as by division of the country. Results underscore the need for regulatory efforts that will reduce health disparities.

Keywords: Disparities; Rural health; Tobacco use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Censuses*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use / trends*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*