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Table 61Age-adjusted prevalence of current cigarette smoking by persons 25 years of age and over, according to sex, race, and education: United States, selected years 1974-2002
[Data are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population] Click here for spreadsheet version

Sex, race, and education 1974 1 1979 1 1985 1 1990 1 1995 1 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
25 years and over, age adjusted2Percent of persons who are current cigarette smokers3
All persons4.36.933.130.025.424.524.023.422.722.622.121.5
No high school diploma or GED43.740.740.836.735.633.534.432.231.930.930.9
High school diploma or GED36.233.632.
Some college, no bachelor's degree35.933.229.523.422.623.723.523.321.722.321.6
Bachelor’s degree or higher27.222.618.513.913.611.410.911.110.910.810.0
All males442.937.332.828.226.426.425.124.524.823.923.6
No high school diploma or GED52.347.645.742.039.739.137.536.236.434.734.7
High school diploma or GED42.438.935.533.132.732.232.030.432.130.331.1
Some college, no bachelor’s degree41.836.532.925.923.725.525.424.823.324.423.4
Bachelor’s degree or higher28.322.719.614.513.812.511.011.811.611.211.0
White males4,541.936.731.727.625.925.824.824.224.723.823.5
No high school diploma or GED51.547.645.041.838.738.537.436.338.635.436.2
High school diploma or GED42.038.534.832.932.931.832.230.532.530.531.2
Some college, no bachelor’s degree41.636.432.225.423.325.625.224.723.624.623.4
Bachelor’s degree or higher27.822.519.114.413.412.010.911.811.311.211.1
Black or African American males4,553.444.442.134.531.633.830.429.126.528.427.2
No high school diploma or GED58.149.750.541.641.944.642.943.838.337.937.2
High school diploma or GED*50.748.641.837.436.639.032.832.529.133.431.3
Some college, no bachelor’s degree*45.339.241.828.126.427.028.423.420.024.225.6
Bachelor’s degree or higher*41.4*36.8*32.0*20.8*17.314.5*15.311.314.711.3*10.8
All females432.029.527.522.922.921.721.720.920.620.419.4
No high school diploma or GED36.634.836.531.831.728.231.328.227.327.227.3
High school diploma or GED32.229.829.526.126.427.926.225.926.726.525.4
Some college, no bachelor’s degree30.130.026.321.021.622.021.821.920.420.520.1
Bachelor’s degree or higher25.922.517.113.313.310.310.710.410.110.59.0
White females4,531.729.727.323.323.121.922.321.421.121.420.3
No high school diploma or GED36.835.836.733.432.429.733.029.528.629.629.5
High school diploma or GED31.929.929.426.526.828.327.127.227.928.426.9
Some college, no bachelor’s degree30.430.726.721.
Bachelor’s degree or higher25.521.916.513.413.510.511.510.510.210.99.7
Black or African American females4,535.630.332.022.425.724.123.021.421.619.118.4
No high school diploma or GED36.131.639.426.332.327.132.830.131.226.327.1
High school diploma or GED40.932.632.124.127.829.124.322.425.421.319.5
Some college, no bachelor’s degree32.3*28.923.922.720.824.321.722.320.417.420.7
Bachelor’s degree or higher*36.3*43.326.617.017.312.59.013.410.811.6*7.7

* Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error of 20–30 percent.


Data prior to 1997 are not strictly comparable with data for later years due to the 1997 questionnaire redesign. See Appendix I, National Health Interview Survey. Cigarette smoking data were not collected in 1996.


Estimates are age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using four age groups: 25–34 years, 35–44 years, 45–64 years, 65 years and over. See Appendix II, Age adjustment. For age groups where percent smoking was 0 or 100, the age-adjustment procedure was modified to substitute the percent smoking from the next lower education group.


Beginning in 1993 current cigarette smokers reported ever smoking 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and smoking now on every day or some days. See Appendix II, Cigarette smoking.


Includes unknown education. Education categories shown are for 1997 and subsequent years. GED stands for General Educational Development high school equivalency diploma. In 1974–95 the following categories based on number of years of school completed were used: less than 12 years, 12 years, 13–15 years, 16 years or more. See Appendix II, Education.


The race groups, white and black, include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Starting with data year 1999 race-specific estimates are tabulated according to 1997 Standards for Federal data on Race and Ethnicity and are not strictly comparable with estimates for earlier years. The single race categories shown in the table conform to 1997 Standards. The 1999 race-specific estimates are for persons who reported only one racial group. Prior to data year 1999, data were tabulated according to 1977 Standards. Estimates for single race categories prior to 1999 included persons who reported one race or, if they reported more than one race, identified one race as best representing their race. The effect of the 1997 Standard on the 1999 estimates can be seen by comparing 1999 data tabulated according to the two Standards. Age-adjusted estimates based on the 1977 Standards of the percent of current smokers are: identical for white males; 0.2 percentage points higher for black males and females; and 0.1 percentage points higher for white females than estimates based on the 1997 Standards. See Appendix II, Race. For a dditional data on cigarette smoking by racial groups, see table 62 of Health, United States, 2004.

NOTES: Data for additional years are available. See Appendix III. Standard errors for selected years are available in the spreadsheet version of this table. See www​.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. For more data on cigarette smoking see the Early Release reports on the National Health Interview Survey home page: www​.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey. Data are from the following questionnaire supplements: hypertension (1974), smoking (1979), alcohol and health practices (1983), health promotion and disease prevention (1985, 1990–91), cancer control and cancer epidemiology (1992), and year 2000 objectives (1993–95). Starting in 1997 data are from the family core and sample adult questionnaires.

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2004
Health, United States, 2004: With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.
National Center for Health Statistics (US) .
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2004 Sep.

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