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Tobacco Use: Monitoring Tobacco Control Programs

Monitoring individual behavior is important, but is not sufficient, for understanding all the dynamics of tobacco control. Social and environmental forces exert a strong influence on whether and how much people use tobacco. Tobacco control efforts are funded and carried out primarily at the state level, and we actively monitor the progress of these efforts. Here is some of what we've learned.

Cigarette Smoking Prevalence & Policies in 50 States

A 2009 chartbook, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Bridging the Gap, an RWJF-funded, nationally recognized research program, presents state and national data on tobacco prevalence, policies implemented to diminish that prevalence, and programs and policies to help smokers quit. Key findings from the report, Cigarette Smoking Prevalence and Policies in 50 States: An Era of ChangeExternal Web Site Policy (available at Web Site Policy), using data covering a period of 16 years from NCI's Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) include:

  • Between 1992/93 and 2006/07, the percentage of US adults living in smoke-free homes increased by 84 percent, from 43.1 percent in 1992/93 to 79.1 percent in 2006/07.
  • In 1992/93 only 46.1 percent of indoor workers reported having a smoke-free policy at work. In 2006/07, 75 percent of indoor workers had a smoke-free policy in their workplace.
  • Across all states, cigarette excise tax revenues increased from $10.35 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2002 (adjusted to April 2008 dollars) to an estimated $15.25 billion in FY 2007, an increase of 47 percent.

Additional Data

  • We explore and assess health disparities issues related to tobacco use. For example, we provided a presentation and report from the May 2010 TUS-CPS on "What menthol smokers report they would do if menthol cigarettes were no longer available" to the FDA Center for Tobacco Products - Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) as they were deliberating over whether or not menthol in cigarettes was harmful to the public health of the US. For more information, see this presentation (PDF) and this report (PDF). In addition, a special supplement of AddictionExternal Web Site Policy in November 2010 on the impact of menthol cigarettes featured data from the TUS-CPS and the Cancer Control Supplement (CCS) to the NHIS. See our publications database for additional reports and publications on health disparities using TUS-CPS data.
  • North Carolina Legislature Takes Historic Stand for Smoke-Free Air.External Web Site Policy North Carolina is the first tobacco-growing state to make all restaurants and bars smoke-free. The bill was signed into law on May 19, 2009, and took effect on January 2, 2010. We applaud the North Carolina legislators who championed this legislation, including bill sponsors Representative Hugh Holliman and Senator Bill Purcell, as well as the North Carolina Alliance for Health. Use of results from the TUS-CPS data on North Carolina workers' reports of workplace smoking policies contributed to the successful passage of North Carolina's clean indoor air law.
  • In 2006-07, nearly 75.3 percent of the US workforce worked under a smoke-free policy, but this percentage varies widely among states. Also during that time, 79.1 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that smoking is not allowed in their home. These represent significant increases since 1992-93 but indicate that there is still room for improvement. Females and persons in the Northeast are more likely to work in smoke-free work environments.
  • Results from the 1992-93 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey had suggested that there was broad support among Maryland residents for restrictions on smoking in the workplace. In 1994, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) advisory board proposed a complete smoking ban in most Maryland workplaces to protect Maryland workers from the documented health risks associated with environmental tobacco smoke exposure. Maryland was ranked seventh in the country in reports of smoke-free workplaces by indoor workers, according to the 2001-02 Tobacco Use Supplement.

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014