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QuickStats: Percentage* of Adults Aged ≥18 Years With or Without Psychological Distress Who Were Current Smokers,§ by Age Group and Level of Distress — National Health Interview Survey, 2014–2016


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The figure above is a bar chart showing that during 2014–2016, 37.2% of adults aged ≥18 years with serious psychological distress were current smokers, followed by 27.6% of those with mild to moderate psychological distress and 14.0% of those with no psychological distress. Among adults aged 18–44 and 45–64 years, the percentage of adults who were current smokers increased with the level of psychological distress. Among adults aged ≥65 years, the percentage who were current smokers was less among adults with no psychological distress than among adults with mild to moderate or serious psychological distress.

* With 95% confidence intervals indicated with error bars.

Level of psychological distress is based on responses to the questions, “During the past 30 days, how often did you feel: 1) so sad that nothing could cheer you up, 2) nervous, 3) restless or fidgety, 4) hopeless, 5) that everything was an effort, or 6) worthless?” Response categories were: all (4), most (3), some (2), a little (1) and none (0) of the time. Response codes 0–4 for the six items were combined to yield a point value on a 0–24 point scale. A value of 13 or more was used to define serious psychological distress. A value of 8–12 was used to define mild to moderate psychological distress.

§ Adults were asked if they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and, if yes, whether they currently smoked cigarettes every day, some days, or not at all. Those who smoked every day or some days were classified as current cigarette smokers.

Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian population aged ≥18 years and are derived from the National Health Interview Survey Sample Adult component.

During 2014–2016, 37.2% of adults aged ≥18 years with serious psychological distress were current smokers, followed by 27.6% of those with mild to moderate psychological distress and 14.0% of those with no psychological distress. Among adults aged 18–44 and 45–64 years, the percentage of adults who were current smokers increased with the level of psychological distress. Among adults aged ≥65 years, the percentage who were current smokers was less among adults with no psychological distress than among adults with mild to moderate or serious psychological distress.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2014–2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/index.htm.


Reported by: Laura A. Pratt, PhD, LPratt@cdc.gov, 301-458-4447; Cynthia Reuben, MA.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged ≥18 Years With or Without Psychological Distress Who Were Current Smokers, by Age Group and Level of Distress — National Health Interview Survey, 2014–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:672. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6723a6.

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