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Tried to quit smoking 1+ days, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who currently smoke every day or some days, and, in 1998-2003, sample adults whose current smoking status was unknown (SMOKFREQNOW), CSQTRYYR reports whether respondents stopped smoking for 1+ days during the past 12 months in order to quit smoking. In 1997 respondents were asked, "During the PAST 12 MONTHS, have you stopped smoking for one day or longer BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO QUIT SMOKING?" Beginning in 1998, the format of this question was slightly modified to the following wording: "During the PAST 12 MONTHS, have you stopped smoking for more than one day BECAUSE YOU WERE TRYING TO QUIT SMOKING?"


The 1997-2000 Field Representative's Manuals stated, "The questions in this section concern cigarette smoking only. Accept whatever the Sample Adult reports, except if it is volunteered that he/she smoked a pipe, cigars of any kind, marijuana, hashish, 'crack', or the like." The Manuals for 2001 forward define a cigarette as "anything the respondent reports except cigars or any kind of marijuana."

The Manuals for 1997-2000 clarify that "'Trying' means making an effort, not simply thinking about it or desiring it." The Manuals for 1998-2000 added that "stopping temporarily due to acute illnesses with no intention of stopping permanently" does not count as trying to quit smoking.

The Manuals for 1997-2000 state that "stopped smoking" means "stopped smoking altogether." The Manuals instruct interviewers to enter "No" as a response if the sample adult "says that he/she smoked a pipe or cigars on the days he/she did not smoke cigarettes."


As noted in the description of this variable, the question wording was slightly different for 1997 (referring to "one day or longer") than for subsequent years (referring to "more than one day").

Universe Changes 

Beginning in 1998 and continuing through 2003, the universe for CSQTRYYR included sample adults whose smoking status was unknown, in addition to those respondents who indicated that they currently smoked "every day" or "some days."

The 1998 NHIS Survey Description provided the following information on this change in universe:

In 1997, the universes for most of the smoking variables were restricted to respondents with known smoking status. In 1998 the universes were modified slightly to reflect the actual skip patterns in the questionnaire. As a result of this change, persons with unknown data (those who don't know or refuse to answer) are included in the universes of many 1998 variables. The overall number of cases is quite small and neither inclusion nor exclusion of unknowns from the universes should affect estimates. However, while this approach is technically correct, the resulting variables are somewhat harder to interpret. Data users may want to redefine these variables, and limit their universes to persons with known data in previous questions.

The NHIS Survey Descriptions for 1999-2003 provided similar information. Beginning in 2004, the universe for CSQTRYYR reverted back to sample adults who responded "every day" or "some days" to the lead-in question in SMOKFREQNOW.


  • 1991: Sample adults age 18+ who smoked every day last year and currently do not smoke at all or who currently smoke every day and ever quit for one day or more.
  • 1993: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 3 and 4 (excluded from AIDS supplement) who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes and currently smoke every day.
  • 1997; 2004-2018: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes and currently smoke every day or some days.
  • 1998-2003: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes and currently smoke every day or some days or whose current smoking status is unknown.


  • 1991, 1993, 1997-2018