Tobacco Use Supplement - Current Population Survey

TUS-CPS Topics

What Topics Are Covered on TUS-CPS Questionnaires?

Although the TUS has changed slightly between 1992 and 2015, it has generally contained the same information covering:

  • current cigarette smoking status and amount smoked;
  • use of menthol cigarettes (since 2003);
  • smoking history, quit attempts and intention to quit;
  • level of nicotine dependence (since 2003);
  • cost of cigarettes and purchase location (since 2003);
  • medical/dental advice to quit;
  • cigar, pipe, and smokeless tobacco use;
  • harm reduction and other emerging products (since 2003);
  • workplace and home smoking restrictions; and
  • attitudes toward smoke-free policies in public places.

Major new content of the 2014-2015 series includes detailed information on non-cigarette tobacco products, including emerging ones, information about use of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products, and addition of items on attitudes toward smoking in multi-unit housing.

In 2010-11, the TUS-CPS included more detailed questions than previous survey cycles on:

  • menthol cigarette use;
  • recent quit attempts;
  • recent quitting;
  • treatment and other methods used to quit;
  • emerging products (dissolvables only on main 2010-2011 wave, and E-cigarettes only on May 2011 follow-up); and
  • attitudes toward clean indoor air policies for casinos and cars.

The 2010-11 data will be compared with information obtained from earlier and later survey cycles to track trends in tobacco use over time, examine factors important for tobacco control and for FDA's authority to regulate tobacco products, and evaluate the impact of FDA and other government policies.

In May 2006, August 2006, and January 2007, a Core TUS was fielded that combined some of the new features of the 2003 TUSCS-CPS with the general 2001-02 TUS. Topics that had not previously been fielded included:

  • cost and purchase of "single" cigarettes;
  • smoking consumption about 12 months ago;
  • awareness and use of "quitlines" and advising family and friends to quit smoking;
  • use of "Marlboro Ultrasmooth", a new test-marketed tobacco product;
  • asking about other non-cigarette tobacco products separately rather than combined; and
  • asking about attitudes toward clean indoor air policies for children's outdoor sports fields and playgrounds, and indoor concert venues.

In 2003, a Special Topics questionnaire oriented toward tobacco cessation was fielded. The 2003 Tobacco Use Special Cessation Supplement (TUSCS-CPS) had several unique topics covering:

  • type of cigarette usually smoked (menthol, lights);
  • switching to lighter cigarettes;
  • level of nicotine dependence;
  • products, treatments and methods used to quit cigarette and/or other tobacco product use;
  • cessation behavior for "other" non-cigarette tobacco products (cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff);
  • use of new harm reduction products;
  • specific guidance from health professionals; and
  • cost of last pack/carton of cigarettes purchased and in which state purchased.

In 2001-02, a Core TUS questionnaire was fielded, using mostly the same instrument as that administered in 1998-99. For a list of the few differences, see the footnotes to the 2001-02 questionnaire.

The 2000 questionnaire was an abbreviated version of the TUS-CPS and consisted of several questions measuring basic tobacco use prevalence (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff).

2010-11 TUS-CPS: Again we took advantage of the CPS panel design, which allowed us to have a brief longitudinal cohort (overlap sample) with baseline data obtained in May 2010 and follow-up data obtained in May 2011. The most recent data release, the May 2010-2011 TUS-CPS Longitudinal Cohort file, includes the baseline and follow-up (longitudinal) data from the May 2010 and May 2011 surveys, respectively.

Race/Ethnicity changes in 2003 CPS: In 2003, significant changes were made to race/ethnicity questions in the CPS. Respondents were able to select more than one race when answering the survey. This change in wording does not impact smoking estimates and trends made for the entire nation from the TUSCS-CPS, but it could potentially impact smoking estimates and trends made by race/ethnicity. NCI has developed a method to construct single race-estimates using data from the post-2003 TUSCS-CPS. The method is useful when trends over time are being examined for single race groups using both pre-2003 and post-2003 data. More information is available in the Bridging Estimates by Race report, (PDF) which describes the method and gives an initial assessment of the usefulness of the race adjustment. Also, see Trends in Smoking Prevalence by Race based on the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (PDF) for an application of this race bridging.

Overlap sample for February 2002 TUS and February 2003 TUSCS: The panel design of the Basic CPS provides partial sample overlap between the general TUS-CPS answered in February 2002 and the TUSCS-CPS fielded in February 2003. This feature allows a limited longitudinal analysis (2002 - 2003) through linkage between the surveys. A two-year cohort (2001 - 2003) could be constructed for those interested in smoking cessation (smoking status) by also using reported retrospective information on smoking status 12 months previous to 2002. NCI, in collaboration with the Census Bureau, has developed a strategy to create new weights appropriate for analyzing only the overlap sample, and is working on making these weights available for public use. Further information about their development, proper use, and availability from NCI is available in the Weighting the Overlap Sample report (PDF).