Codes and Frequencies
This variable indicates whether the person smoked at the time of the survey. For all years but 1970, 1976, 1977 and 1989 it was asked only of respondents who said they had ever smoked 100 cigarettes. In 1976 and 1977 it was asked only of respondents age 20 years and older who said they had ever smoked 100 cigarettes or it was unknown if they smoked 100 cigarettes for 1976 and 1977). In 1970, it was asked of all respondents age 17 and over.
In 1989 this question was included in the Diabetes supplement, and asked of sample adults who did not have diabetes. In that year, it is complementary to DIASMOKENOW, which was asked of all adults who have confirmed diabetes.
The question for SMOKENOW in 1977 was asked for a sub-sample of randomly selected persons age 20 and over; NHIS automatically classifies persons who were selected but did not complete the questions as responding "unknown " for this variable. Users may choose to use this variable in combination with SUBSRESP77, which reports the person's sub-sample status in 1977.
For all years, a cigarette was respondent defined, but did not include cigars or marijuana.
For other variables indicating smoking status see the variable description for SMOKESTATUS1 which categorizes respondents into current smoker, former smoker, former regular smoker, former occasional smoker, never smoked, unknown smoking status, "unknown if ever smoked 100 cigarettes," and "smoked 100 cigarettes, unknown if currently smoke." The variable description also has information and links to two other variables, SMOKESTATUS2 and SMOKESTATUS3 .
Apart from changes in the universe, this variable is comparable over time, except for 1970. Proxy reporting in 1970 reduces comparability with all later years. In the 1970 survey, a respondent representing the family (a proxy) could answer the questions associated with SMOKENOW 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.
- 1970: Persons age 17+
- 1976: Sample persons age 20+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes or for whom it is unknown if they ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1977: Subsampled persons age 20+ who have every smoked 100 cigarettes or for whom it is unknown if they ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1985: Sample persons age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CAEP supplement) who ever smoked 100 cigarettes and did not indicate that they never smoked regularly.
- 1988: Sample persons age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1989: Sample persons age 18+ who do not have confirmed diabetes.
- 1990-1991: Sample persons age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1992: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2 and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes.
- 1970, 1976-1977, 1985, 1987-1992