Codes and Frequencies
SMOKFREQNOW reports the responses to the question, "Do you NOW smoke cigarettes every day, some days or not at all?" This question was asked of sample adults who reported having ever smoked 100 cigarettes in their entire lifetime (SMOKEV) and for 1991 and 1992, had a known response for whether they currently smoked.
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 1991 and 1992 had approximately the same definition.
Specifically concerning the question associated with SMOKFREQNOW, the Manuals for 1997-2000 instructed interviewers, "If the sample adult gives an answer which does not match the categories read in the question, reread the question emphasizing the wording of the answer categories."
In 1970, 1987, 1992, and 1997 forward respondents were asked about the age at which they first started smoking "fairly regularly" (SMOKAGEREG).
Depending on their response in SMOKFREQNOW (Smoke every day, some days, or not at all), respondents were also able to receive one or more of the following questions in 1991-1995 and from 1997 forward:
- "On the average, how many cigarettes do you now smoke a day?" (CIGSDAY1)
- "On how many of the past 30 days did you smoke a cigarette?" (CIGDAYMO)
- "On the average, when you smoked during the past 30 days, about how many cigarettes did you smoke a day?" (CIGSDAY2)
The variable CIGSDAY (Average number of cigarettes smoked per day: Current Smokers) is available for 1970, 1974, 1976-1977, 1985, and 1997 forward.
In 1991 and 1992, this question was split into two questions. Respondents were first asked if they smoked at all. Affirmative responses were followed by a question on whether they smoked either "every day" or "some days." Negative responses were followed by a question that clarified (or confirmed the earlier response), "Do you now smoke cigarettes "not at all" or "some days"?" This change should not affect comparability over time. Apart from the change in universe, this variable is comparable over time in years before 2019.
Changes in survey design before 2019 (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.
Questionnaire design changes introduced in 2019 limit comparability with earlier years. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
- 1991: Sample persons age 18+ who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives and gave a known response for whether they smoke cigarettes now.
- 1992: Sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2 and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives and (for Cancer Control Sample Adults only) who gave a known response for whether they smoke cigarettes now.
- 1993: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 3 and 4 (excluded from AIDS supplement) who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives.
- 1994-1995: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from AIDS supplement) who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives.
- 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives.
- 2019-2021: Sample adults age 18+ who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives (SMOKEV).
- 1991-1995, 1997-2021