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, and 2006-2007. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a co-sponsor with NCI since 2001-02.

The TUS-CPS is a key source of national and state level data on smoking and other tobacco use in the US household population because 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:

  • Civilian, non-institutionalized population ages 15 years and older;
  • National, state, and some substate-specific estimates;
  • State sample sizes range from 2,100 for the District of Columbia to 18,700 for California;
  • 75% of respondents conduct survey by telephone and 25% of respondents conduct survey by personal home visit; and
  • Mostly self-reports (about 20% are by proxy for a few measures of use).

These data can be used by researchers to:

  • monitor progress in the control of tobacco use;
  • conduct tobacco-related research; and
  • evaluate tobacco control programs.

Information from past Tobacco Use Supplements is contained in NCI's Tobacco Monographs. See Reports and Publications Using the TUS-CPS for a list of 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 been translated into Spanish and four Asian languages: 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 now available.

Download the TUS-CPS Fact Sheet.

What Is the Current Population Survey?

  • The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a continuing monthly survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted by the US Census Bureau. It collects information on the occupations, employment activities, and economic status of a nationally representative sample of about 50,000 households in the US. Each household is interviewed once a month on 4 consecutive months, and again a year later on 4 consecutive months.

  • The CPS also collects information on demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, educational attainment, and family relationships. These data are used in planning and evaluating many government programs.

  • From time to time, the CPS has included additional questions on health, education, income, and other issues. The Tobacco Use Supplement is an example of these additional questions.

What Topics Are Covered on the TUS-CPS Questionnaire?

Although the TUS has changed slightly between 1992 and 2003, it has generally contained about 40 items covering:

  • cigarette smoking prevalence,
  • smoking history,
  • current and past cigarette consumption,
  • cigarette smoking quit attempts and intentions to quit,
  • medical and dental advice to quit smoking,
  • cigar, pipe, chewing tobacco, and snuff use,
  • workplace smoking policies,
  • smoking rules in the home,
  • attitudes toward smoking in public places,
  • opinions about the degree of youth access to tobacco in the community, and
  • attitudes toward advertising and promotion of tobacco.

The 2000 questionnaire is an abbreviated version of the TUS-CPS and consists 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:

  • type of cigarette usually smoked (menthol, lights);
  • switching to lighter cigarettes;
  • level of nicotine dependence;
  • products, treatments and methods used to quit cigarette and/or other tobacco product use;
  • cessation behavior for "other" non-cigarette tobacco products (cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff);
  • use of new harm reduction products;
  • specific guidance from health professionals; and
  • cost of last pack/carton of cigarettes purchased and in which state purchased.

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:

  • cost and purchase of "single" cigarettes;
  • smoking consumption about 12 months ago;
  • awareness and use of "quitlines" and advising family & friends to quit smoking;
  • use of "Marlboro Ultrasmooth", a new test-marketed tobacco product;
  • asking about other non-cigarette tobacco products separately rather than combined; and
  • asking about attitudes toward clean indoor air policies for children's outdoor sports fields and playgrounds, and indoor concert venues.

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.

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).

How can TUS-CPS data be used?

Currently available data files (for 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 home restrictions on smoking, 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.

Researchers who are interested in the economic aspects of tobacco use can take advantage of the fact that the CPS collects detailed occupational and economic data that can be related to tobacco use because of the panel design of the CPS. (The March 2003 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement (PDF) (revised 05/16/06) available from the US Census Bureau contains an example.) Other CPS supplements such as 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.

As an example of the types of tables that can be produced using TUS data, some basic estimates from the 2003, 2001-2002, and 1998-1999 data files are provided.

Where Can I Get the TUS Data, Documentation, & Questionnaires?

2001-2002, 2003, and 2006-2007 Questionnaires Available for Download

The questionnaires for the 2001-2002, 2003, and 2006-2007 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:


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.

TUS-CPS Contents CD Name Product ID
May/August 2006 & January 2007 Current Population Survey Releases in 2008 C9-C08-ALLF-06-US1
Feb., June, & Nov. 2003 Current Population Survey Releases in 2007
(Contains the same data files as the 2006 release, plus updated technical documentation.)
Current Population Survey Releases in 2006 C13-C06-ALLF-06-US1
February 2002 Current Population Survey - 2002 through 2004 All Files CD-ROM C6-C04-ALLF-02-US1
June & November 2001 Current Population Survey 2001 All Files CD-ROM C4-C01-ALLF-06-US1
January & May 2000 Current Population Survey 2000 All Files CD-ROM C4-C00-ALLF-06-US1
1995-1999 Current Population Survey 1994-1999 All Files CD-ROM C5-C99-ALLF-06-US1
1992-1993 Current Population Survey: 1992 and 1993 Tobacco Supplements C1-C93-TOBF-02-US1

What Are the Current and 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:

The American Legacy Foundation provides a user-friendly data tool that facilitates access to the NCI and CDC co-sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement (TUS) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) tobacco-related data. Users can choose several tobacco-related variables (e.g., smoking prevalence) by survey year, geography (e.g., state), and demographics (i.e., total population, gender, age range, race/ethnicity) to obtain tobacco-related data at the state level in both tabular and map formats.

Please check out the American Legacy Foundation database tool at:


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:

  • Detailed Report - This report is by topic area (e.g. Economic), by measure (e.g. smoking) for a state by year.
  • State Comparison Report - This report displays data for selected topic area by measure by year in all available states with Excel export capability.
  • Trend Report - This report displays data for selected topic area, by measure, multiple sub-topics (e.g. average cost per pack), by years and states with graphic output option and Excel export capability.
  • Tobacco Control Highlights Report - This report displays current state-based information on the prevalence of tobacco use, the health impact and costs associated with tobacco use, and tobacco excise tax drawing from multiple sources within the system.

Check out this electronic data warehouse at:


The National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) is a database developed for the purpose of studying the effects of demographic and socio-economic characteristics on differentials in US mortality rates not covered as extensively in other databases. There are approximately 3 million records with over 250,000 identified mortality cases. This research database consists of US Census Bureau data from the Current Population Surveys, Annual Social, and Economic Supplements, and a subset of the 1980 Census combined with death certificate information to identify mortality status and cause of death.

What Are NCI's Future Plans for the TUS-CPS?

Over the next several years, NCI plans to conduct the TUS-CPS triennially, alternating between a core questionnaire intended for monitoring purposes (similar to the questionnaire used throughout the 1990s and 2006-07) and more specific Special Topics questionnaires such as the 2003 TUSCS-CPS that target tobacco-related issues of particular interest to researchers. NCI will be sponsoring the supplements.

The next round of special TUS supplements is being fielded in May 2010, August 2010, and January 2011.

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 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 website: http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmayaug06.pdf and/or http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsjan07.pdf).

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 website: 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 website: http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsJun01Nov01Feb02.pdf).

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 website: provide link).

For example, the citation for use of the 1998-1999 Tobacco Use Supplement to the CPS would be:

US Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2001). National Cancer Institute Sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (1998-1999): http://riskfactor.cancer.gov/studies/tus-cps/. Data files (AND/OR) technical documentation (technical documentation website: http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmay99.pdf).

New, Updated, and Modified Files

Date Type of Change Description of Change
December 2008 New Data from the 2006-2007 TUS-CPS became available.
March 2008 New New information from the fall 2007 Users' Workshop became available.
March 2008 Updated The list of publications using TUS-CPS data was converted to a searchable database.
October 2007 New The Weighting the Overlap Sample report (PDF) became available.
October 2007 Modified Revised the technical documentation for the 2003 TUSCS-CPS (PDF) to reflect revisions to the Source & Accuracy Statement and to the skip pattern for questions F4 and F5.
June 2007 New The 2006 TUS-CPS questionnaire became available.
January 2007 Modified Data for question PEH10b is stored in a different order than the order in which the question was asked. This question was edited in the 2003 TUS-CPS Technical Documentation to reflect the order of data storage. A user note indicating the change was added to Attachment 17 of the document.
October 2006 Modified The race categories used in the 2003 survey findings tables were changed.
June 2006 Modified The variable number for question PEC6d2, and the edited universe for question PED1, which had been listed incorrectly in the 2003 TUS-CPS Technical Documentation (PDF), were corrected.
June 2006 New Data for the 2003 TUS-CPS became available.