What Is the TUS-CPS?
The Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) is an NCI-sponsored survey of tobacco use that has been administered as part of the US Census Bureau's Current Population Survey in 1992-1993, 1995-1996, 1998-1999, 2000, 2001-2002, 2003, 2006-2007, and 2010-2011. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was a co-sponsor with NCI from 2001-02 through 2006-07.
The TUS-CPS is a key source of national, state, and sub-state level data from US households regarding smoking, use of tobacco products, and tobacco-related norms, attitudes, and policies. It uses a large, nationally representative sample that contains information on about 240,000 individuals within a given survey period. Other characteristics of the survey are:
These data can be used by researchers to:
Uses and results from TUS-CPS data can be found on this Web site. In addition, TUS-CPS data has been included in several of NCI's Tobacco Control Monographs, NCI's Trends in Cancer Progress Reports, several of the Surgeon General's Reports on tobacco control topics, Healthy People (HP) 2010 and 2020 reports, and most recently in the 2012 Congressional Budget Office report "Raising the Excise Tax on Cigarettes: Effects on Health and the Federal Budget". See Reports and Publications Using the TUS-CPS for a list of about 200 publications describing past TUS-CPS findings or utilizing some of the TUS-CPS data in conjunction with other health survey, registry, or other outcome data.
The TUS-CPS has regularly been translated into Spanish and the 2003 version was also translated into Chinese, Khmer, Korean, and Vietnamese. Information about the translated questionnaires, including reports on the review and pretesting of the translations, and copies of the questionnaires in all available languages, is available.
What Topics Are Covered on the TUS-CPS Questionnaire?
Although the TUS has changed slightly between 1992 and 2011, it has generally contained the same information provided in 1992-93, covering:
The 2000 questionnaire was an abbreviated version of the TUS-CPS and consisted of several questions measuring basic tobacco use prevalence (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff).
In 2001-02, a Core TUS questionnaire was fielded, using mostly the same instrument as that administered in 1998-99. For a list of the few differences, see the footnotes to the 2001-02 questionnaire.
In 2003, a Special Topics questionnaire oriented toward tobacco cessation was fielded. The 2003 Tobacco Use Special Cessation Supplement (TUSCS-CPS) had several unique topics covering:
In May 2006, August 2006, and January 2007, a Core TUS was fielded that combined some of the new features of the 2003 TUSCS-CPS with the general 2001-02 TUS. Topics that had not previously been fielded included:
In 2010-11, the TUS-CPS included more detailed questions than previous survey cycles on:
The 2010-11 data will be compared with information obtained from earlier and later survey cycles to track trends in tobacco use over time, examine factors important for tobacco control and for FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products, and evaluate the impact of FDA and other government policies.
Race/Ethnicity changes in 2003 CPS: In 2003, significant changes were made to race/ethnicity questions in the CPS. Respondents were able to select more than one race when answering the survey. This change in wording does not impact smoking estimates and trends made for the entire nation from the TUSCS-CPS, but it could potentially impact smoking estimates and trends made by race/ethnicity. NCI has developed a method to construct single race-estimates using data from the post-2003 TUSCS-CPS. The method is useful when trends over time are being examined for single race groups using both pre-2003 and post-2003 data. More information is available in the Bridging Estimates by Race report (PDF), which describes the method and gives an initial assessment of the usefulness of the race adjustment. Also, see Trends in Smoking Prevalence by Race based on the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (PDF) for an application of this race bridging.
Overlap sample for February 2002 TUS and February 2003 TUSCS: The panel design of the Basic CPS provides partial sample overlap between the general TUS-CPS answered in February 2002 and the TUSCS-CPS fielded in February 2003. This feature allows a limited longitudinal analysis (2002 - 2003) through linkage between the surveys. A two-year cohort (2001 - 2003) could be constructed for those interested in smoking cessation (smoking status) by also using reported retrospective information on smoking status 12 months previous to 2002. NCI, in collaboration with the Census Bureau, has developed a strategy to create new weights appropriate for analyzing only the overlap sample, and is working on making these weights available for public use. Further information about their development, proper use, and availability from NCI is available in the Weighting the Overlap Sample report (PDF).
2010-11 TUS-CPS: Again we took advantage of the CPS panel design, which allowed us to have a brief longitudinal cohort (overlap sample) with baseline data obtained in May 2010 and follow-up data obtained in May 2011. The forthcoming data release of the May 2011 fielding will include the baseline and follow-up (longitudinal) data from the May 2010 and May 2011 matches.
How Can TUS-CPS Data Be Used?
Currently available data files (for 2010, 2006-2007, 2003, 2001-2002, 2000, 1998-1999, 1995-1996, 1992-1993) can be used to track trends in tobacco use over time. Most of the same files can also be used to assess trends in tobacco control efforts, including both formal workplace and informal home restrictions on smoking, attitudes towards smoke-free policies, and the advice of a doctor, dentist, or other health professional to stop smoking.
Because of the large sample size for most survey items, analyses can be done at either the national or state levels, and in some cases, for areas smaller than the state level. The large sample size also affords the opportunity to study various tobacco control heath disparities.
Researchers who are interested in the economic aspects of tobacco use can take advantage of the fact that the CPS collects detailed labor force, occupational, and economic data that can be related to tobacco use. Additional detailed economic, social, and health insurance data from the March Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement (PDF) can be linked to the TUS data because of the panel design of the CPS. Likewise, other CPS supplements such as Voting and Registration, Internet and Computer Use, Food Security, and starting with the 2003 version, the American Time Use Supplement may be combined with the Tobacco Use Supplement data to enrich analysis and answer other important research questions.
TUS-CPS data can also be linked to health outcomes data with the National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS).
Where Can I Get the TUS Data, Documentation, & Questionnaires?
TUS-CPS Available for Download
The data and technical documentation for the May and August 2010, and January 2011, Tobacco Use Supplements are available for download from the Current Population Survey FTP Page.
The questionnaires for the 2001-2002, 2003, 2006-2007, and 2010-11 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) are available for download below in two formats.
For detailed information about the surveys and data sets, refer to the Current Population Survey technical documentation on the US Census Bureau's Web site.
SAS Programs for Creating SAS Datasets
SAS programs for creating a permanent SAS dataset from the ASCII text file are available for some of the public use files. Each program reads all variables from the core and the supplement and creates a SAS dataset containing all the variables.
Order Earlier TUS-CPS Files on CD-ROM
See the Census Bureau's instructions on how to order from the Census Product Catalog. CD-ROMs may be ordered by phone or fax.
To find the Product ID of the CD that you want, see the Census Bureau's tables of contents for Current Population Survey releases, or consult the table below.
Guidance on using the TUS-CPS data was provided to participants in the 2009 TUS-CPS Users' Workshop.
What Are the Current & Past TUS Survey Findings?
The data presented here provide examples of the type of information researchers can obtain from the Tobacco Use Supplement.
Data from the following periods are available:
National Longitudinal Mortality Study
The National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) is sociodemographic data, collected by the US Census Bureau via in-person and telephone interviews as a part of the Current Population Surveys (CPS), and combined with cause of death information from official state records. The NLMS database includes approximately 3.0 million persons, and cause of death information on over 250,000.
The NCI encourages interested investigators to utilize the NLMS and SEER-NLMS databases for cancer-related research projects. For information on accessing this database, see "Applying to Analyze the NLMS or Linked SEER-NLMS Databases".
Some results from the NLMS are presented in the article:
Cigarette Smoking Prevalence and Policies in the 50 States: An Era of Change
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ImpacTEEN program featured the TUS-CPS trend data (1992-2007) in its tobacco chart book, entitled "Cigarette Smoking Prevalence and Policies in the 50 States: An Era of Change." See TUS-CPS results and data used in the chart book, or the chart book itself (PDF), which also includes US maps and other figures for several tobacco control variables.
State Tobacco Activities Tracking & Evaluation System
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an electronic database warehouse called the State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) system which contains up-to-date and historical state-level data on tobacco use prevention and control. Information from the TUS-CPS data is included in this resource.
The following can be obtained from the site:
Check out this electronic data warehouse at:
Health Disparities Calculator
The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is statistical software that generates multiple summary measures for evaluating and monitoring health disparities. HD*Calc can be used either as an extension of SEER*Stat, which allows users to import Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, or on its own with other population-based health data, such as from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). HD*Calc is useful for anyone interested in health and cancer-related disparities as well as those interested in learning about summary measures of health disparities. HD*Calc is located on the SEER Web site.
What Are NCI's Future Plans for the TUS-CPS?
NCI plans to conduct the TUS-CPS every 4 years, including a Core set of questions, an emerging tobacco product section, and various special topics of particular interest to researchers and government agencies, as they are appropriate at the time of fielding.
Suggested Citation for the TUS-CPS
Use of data from the NCI-sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) for publication purposes should contain a citation. Citations for the data and/or technical documentation are:
For the 2010-11 data, use:
US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2012). National Cancer Institute-sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (2010-11): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation Web site: http://www.census.gov/cps/methodology/techdocs.html).
For the 2006-07 data, use:
US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2008). National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Co-sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (2006-07): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation Web site: http://www.census.gov/cps/methodology/techdocs.html).
For the 2003 data, use:
US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2006). National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Co-sponsored Tobacco Use Special Cessation Supplement to the Current Population Survey (2003): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation Web site: http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/info.html).
For the 2001-2002 data, use:
US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2004). National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Co-sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (2001-2002): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation Web site: http://www.census.gov/cps/methodology/techdocs.html).
For 2000 or earlier data, use:
US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (year of data release). National Cancer Institute Sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (years of survey): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation Web site: provide link).
New, Updated, & Modified Files