Table 2.3. Prevalence (% and 95% confidence interval) of current smoking among women aged 18 years or older, by selected characteristics, National Health Interview Survey, United States, 1965-1998

Characteristic196519701974197919851990199219951998
Women33.9 (±0.6)31.5 (±0.8)32.1 (±0.8)29.9 (±0.9)27.9 (±0.8)22.8 (±0.7)24.6 (±0.9)22.6 (±1.1)22.0 (±0.8)
Age (years)
18-2438.1 (±1.7)32.7 (±1.4)34.1 (±2.0)33.8 (±2.1)30.4 (±2.3)22.5 (±1.9)24.9 (±2.8)21.8 (±3.0)24.5 (±2.6)
25-4443.7 (±1.1)38.8 (±1.0)39.2 (±1.3)35.1 (±1.4)31.8 (±1.2)26.6 (±1.0)28.8 (±1.4)26.8 (±1.6)25.6 (±1.2)
45-6432.0 (±1.1)33.0 (±1.4)33.4 (±1.6)30.7 (±1.6)29.9 (±1.5)24.8 (±1.3)26.1 (±1.8)24.0 (±2.0)22.5 (±1.3)
> 659.6 (±1.0)11.0 (±1.1)12.0 (±1.2)13.2 (±1.3)13.5 (±1.3)11.5 (±0.9)12.4 (±1.3)11.5 (±1.5)11.2 (±1.2)
Race/ethnicity *
White, non-Hispanic34.0 (±0.7)31.6 (±0.9)31.7 (±0.8)30.6 (±1.0)28.2 (±0.9)24.1 (±0.8)25.9 (±1.1)24.1 (±1.3)23.6 (±0.9)
Black, non-Hispanic33.7 (±2.1)32.2 (±2.2)36.4 (±2.7)31.6 (±2.5)31.2 (±2.3)21.1 (±1.6)24.1 (±2.2)23.5 (±3.1)21.3 (±2.0)
HispanicNA ** NANA22.2 (±3.1)20.8 (±2.4)16.3 (±2.2)18.0 (±2.5)14.9 (±2.1)13.3 (±1.4)
American Indian or Alaska NativeNANANA34.9 (±12.9)§ 28.4 (±10.0)37.8 (± 11.9)39.8 (±12.4)35.4 (±13.9)§ 38.1 (± 11.9)
Asian or Pacific IslanderNANANA15.9 (±8.0)§ 11.0 (±4.9)5.9 (±2.3)4.0 (±2.3)§ 4.3 (±3.1)§ 9.9 (±4.2)
Education (number of years)
< 8NA22.3 (±1.0)22.5 (±1.8)21.1 (±1.7)21.1 (±1.9)16.6 (±1.9)18.7 (±2.6)17.8 (±2.8)16.7 (±2.4)
9-11NA38.7 (±1.5)41.2 (±2.2)38.0 (±2.2)37.2 (±2.5)33.9 (±2.2)32.2 (±2.7)33.7 (±3.5)32.9 (±2.5)
12NA34.2 (±1.3)34.5 (±1.4)31.1 (±1.5)30.4 (±1.3)26.6 (±1.1)28.7 (±1.5)26.2 (±1.8)25.2 (±1.4)
13-15NA33.7 (±2.6)30.9 (±2.8)30.9 (±2.3)27.0 (±1.8)21.6 (±1.3)24.1 (±1.9)22.5 (±2.2)22.8 (±1.5)
> 16NA26.7 (±1.9)26.6 (±2.8)22.2 (±1.9)16.6 (±1.6)12.7 (±1.1)14.5 (±1.6)13.7 (±1.8)11.2 (±1.2)
Socioeconomic status
Below poverty levelNANANANA32.7 (±1.9)31.7 (±2.1)31.7 (±3.0)29.3 (±2.9)29.3 (±2.1)
At or above poverty levelNANANANA27.4 (±0.9)21.7 (±0.7)23.8 (±1.0)21.8 (±1.1)21.3 (±0.9)
UnknownNANANANA25.8 (±2.1)22.1 (±2.0)22.1 (±2.5)21.0 (±3.5)20.2 (±1.6)
Men51.9 (±0.6)44.1 (±0.7)43.1 (±1.0)37.5 (±1.1)32.6 (±1.0)28.4 (±0.8)28.6 (±1.0)27.0 (±1.2)26.4 (±0.9)

Note: Prevalence of current smoking is the percentage of all persons in each demographic category who reported smoking > 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who smoked at the time of the survey. Since 1992, estimates of current smoking explicitly include persons who smoked only on some days.

*

Ethnicity was not determined in 1965, 1970, or 1974. Thus, estimates for whites and for blacks during these years likely include data for some persons of Hispanic origin.

**

NA = Not available.

§

Estimate should be interpreted with caution because of the small number of respondents.

For women aged > 25 years. Data for five education categories not available for 1965.

Definition of poverty status changed in 1997. (See Appendix 2 for definitions.)Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, public use data tapes, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998.

From: Chapter 2. Patterns of Tobacco Use Among Women and Girls

Cover of Women and Smoking
Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Office on Smoking and Health (US).

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