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Health provider asked if smoke/use tobacco, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults aged 18 and over, MDSMASK reports whether, in the past 12 months, a medical doctor or other health professional asked the respondent about smoking cigarettes or using other kinds of tobacco.

MDSMASK is one of a series of variables dealing with doctor advice. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


There are changes in the sampling universe between years, so researchers should use caution in making comparisons over time. Please refer to the Universe Tab for detailed information. Apart from this change in universe, there are no comparability issues.


  • 2000: Sample adults age 18+ who have seen or talked to a doctor or health care professional about their health within the past year.
  • 2005: Sample adults age 18+ who have seen or talked to a doctor or dentist about their own health in the past year or for whom it was unknown whether they had seen a doctor or dentist in the past year.


  • 2000, 2005