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Ever smoked a pipe

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons aged 18 and over (and aged 17 and over for 1970), this variable indicates if the person ever smoked a pipe. For 1970, the question asked if the person smoked "at least 3 packages of pipe tobacco during [their] entire life." Please see the Universe tab for changes in the universe over time for this variable.


From 1970 to 2005, "pipe" was person defined. In 1987, the Field Representative's Manual noted that if questions arise, interviewers should include pipe tobacco only, and cigarette or cigars crumbled into pipes should not be counted. The 2005 and 2015 survey text added the phrase "even one time?" to the question about whether the person ever smoked a pipe. Beginning in 2015, pipe is defined as a pipe filled with tobacco: either a regular pipe, water pipe, or hookah.


Apart from changes in the universe, this variable is mostly comparable for 1987-forward. There was a small change in wording beginning in 2005, in which the question included asked "Have you ever smoked a pipe" and added the phrase, "even one time." Also note that although the definition was made more explicit in 2000 and forward, these definitions were not routinely shared with persons, so the term "pipe" would typically be person-defined in all surveys. In 2015, pipe is defined as a pipe filled with tobacco-either a regular pipe, water pipe, or hookah.

In addition to the different question working in 1970, the use of proxy reporting in 1970 also reduces comparability with all later years. In 1970, a person representing the family (a proxy) could answer the questions associated with PIPEV for all other family members over age 17. As self-report is typically more accurate than proxy report, researchers may want to indicate this caveat when analyzing the data or interpreting results and when comparing 1970 with all later years.


  • 1970: Persons age 17+.
  • 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CAEP supplement).
  • 1991: Sample persons age 18+.
  • 1992: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2, and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 (excluded from CAEP supplement).
  • 1998; 2000; 2005; 2015; 2016 2017 2018: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1970, 1987, 1991-1992, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2015-2018