TUS-CPS Survey Topics

What Topics Do the TUS-CPS Questionnaires Cover?

The TUS-CPS questionnaires assess many topics, including:

  • current cigarette smoking status and amount smoked,
  • use of menthol cigarettes,
  • smoking history, quit attempts and intention to quit,
  • level of nicotine dependence,
  • cost of cigarettes and purchase location,
  • medical/dental advice to quit,
  • cigar, pipe, and smokeless tobacco use,
  • harm reduction and other emerging products,
  • workplace and home smoking restrictions, and
  • attitudes toward smoke-free policies in public places.
  • In addition, questions have been added to match the current tobacco landscape at each wave. Use the timeline below to see how the questionnaire has evolved.

TUS-CPS Timeline



The 2022-2023 series included new items on:

  • Current use of heated tobacco products
  • Ever use of nicotine pouches
  • Current use of nicotine pouches
  • Switching to nicotine pouches to quit cigarettes/cigars

The following topics were removed for the 2022-2023 series:

  • Removing detailed items on use of dissolvable tobacco products.
  • exposure to federally mandated tobacco company corrective statements (anti-smoking) advertising.


Major content changes to the 2018-2019 series included capturing additional information on current cigarette use among adult respondents between the ages of 18 and 34; adding items on use of cessation tools including nicotine replacement therapy, anti-depressants, and in-person counseling and support groups; and removing items on use of dissolvable tobacco products. New items include:

  • purchasing loose tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes,
  • categorizing e-cigarette device type,
  • purchasing behaviors and costs for buying e-cigarettes, e-cigarette cartridges, or e-liquid,
  • policies toward e-cigarette use in the workplace and rules inside the home, and
  • exposure to federally mandated tobacco company corrective statements (anti-smoking) advertising.

In 2018-2019, self-respondent identification was further changed to allow the shorter proxy interview only for those who were selected for self-interview who couldn’t be interviewed for themselves.



Major new content of the 2014-2015 series included 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.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 series, the number of self-respondents per household interviewed was reduced by interviewing for self any eligible respondent 18 years and older in households with 1-2 eligible adults for interview. For households with 3-4 eligible for self-response, two eligible adults were randomly selected for full self-interview, and for households with 5+ eligible for interview, three were randomly selected. Any other eligible adults were interviewed by proxy respondent.



Because of the CPS panel design, a brief longitudinal cohort (overlap sample) was established, with baseline data obtained in May 2010 and follow-up data obtained in May 2011. The May 2010-2011 TUS-CPS Longitudinal Cohort file includes both datasets.

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 baseline 2010-2011 wave, and e-cigarettes on May 2011 follow-up), and
  • attitudes toward clean indoor air policies for casinos and cars.


In May 2006, August 2006, and January 2007, a Core TUS was fielded that combined some of the features of the 2003 Tobacco Use Special Cessation Supplement (TUSCS-CPS) with the general 2001-2002 TUS.

Topics were included for the first time 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 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.

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 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 Exit Disclaimer (PDF) for an application of this race bridging.

Overlap sample for February 2002 TUS and February 2003 TUSCS-CPS: The panel design of the Basic CPS provided partial sample overlap between the general TUS-CPS answered in February 2002 and the TUSCS-CPS fielded in February 2003. This feature allowed 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. In collaboration with the Census Bureau, NCI developed a strategy to create new weights appropriate for analyzing only the overlap sample, and made 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).



In 2001-02, a Core TUS questionnaire was fielded, using mostly the same instrument that was 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).

Last Updated
February 22, 2024