Tobacco Use Measurement Strategies

The prevalence of tobacco use is commonly measured with survey data on current cigarette smoking behavior. Though many surveys collect tobacco-related data, a major limitation of most is their relatively small sample sizes, which are not sufficient for county-level estimates.

A common survey-based data source is the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Questions related to smoking behavior are included in the core questionnaire every year, and supplemental tobacco use questions are included in rotating modules. Conducted every year in all states, the BRFSS can be used to estimate smoking prevalence at the county level.