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Health Indicator Report of Smoking Among Adults

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. In Utah, smoking claims more than 1,300 lives each year. It causes or worsens nearly every chronic condition and contributes to Utah's primary causes of death including heart disease, respiratory disease, and cancer. Smoking increases the risk for cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder and contributes to cancer of the cervix, pancreas, and kidneys. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for heart disease and lung cancer among nonsmokers.
A new weighting methodology that better represents populations of low socioeconomic status and added cell phone interviews produced a higher estimated smoking rate for Utah adults compared to previous estimates that were based on post-stratification by age, sex, and local health district.

Current Cigarette Smoking, Adults Aged 18 and Older, Utah and U.S., 1989-2016


Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 population. Note: At the time of this update, the BRFSS U.S. dataset did not include an age variable but did include five age categories up to age 80+ (vs. the typical weighting scheme that includes 85+). Comparisons with both weighting schemes were compared using Utah data, and the difference was about 1/100 of a percentage point.

Data Sources

  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Data Interpretation Issues

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey is conducted with a representative sample of non-institutionalized Utah adults living in households with a landline telephone. In 2010, the BRFSS added cell phone interviews to the survey protocol and introduced a new weighting methodology that better represents populations of low socioeconomic status. More details about these changes can be found at: []. Due to these changes survey results from the years before 2010 are not comparable to results observed in 2010 or later. The 2010 estimated adult smoking rate was higher compared to rates from previous years that were based on post-stratification by age, sex, and local health district. As with all telephone surveys, data may be subject to error as resulting from non-coverage (e.g., lower telephone coverage among some low SES populations), non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or answer specific questions), or measurement (e.g. social desirability or recall bias). Interviewer training and monitoring and strict adherence to good survey research protocols reduces error from these sources.


Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who smoke cigarettes every day or some days.


Number of adults aged 18 years and older who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their life time and who now report smoking cigarettes every day or some days.


Number of adults aged 18 years and older.

Healthy People Objective TU-1.1:

Reduce cigarette smoking by adults
U.S. Target: 12.0 percent
State Target: 9.0 percent

Other Objectives

Utah's 42 Community Health Indicators[[br]] CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators

How Are We Doing?

Utah's adult smoking rate has decreased significantly since the Utah Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program started receiving Master Settlement Agreement funds in 2000. People with low household income and fewer years of formal education report higher rates of tobacco use than the general population. Recent surveys show that 70% of Utah smokers intend to quit within the next year. Comprehensive and free tobacco cessation services help Utah smokers quit successfully and ensure declines in tobacco use rates across population groups.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2016, Utah's adult smoking rate was 8.7% compared to the national rate of 16.8%. (Rates are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.)

What Is Being Done?

The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) at the Utah Department of Health and its partners use comprehensive programs to prevent young people from starting to use tobacco, help tobacco users quit, promote tobacco-free environments, and reduce tobacco-related disparities. These programs include an extensive anti-tobacco marketing campaign, free and confidential tobacco cessation services, school- and community-based prevention programs, and efforts to improve tobacco policies. Tobacco-free policies support tobacco-free norms and protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. The marketing campaign uses television, radio, billboard, print, and on-line media to reach youth, adults, pregnant women, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural populations with anti-tobacco messages. The campaign's goals are to counter tobacco industry promotions, inform Utahns about quitting services, and support local tobacco control efforts. Quitting services available to Utahns are accessible through Utah's tobacco cessation web site, [], and include a toll-free Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and a web-based tobacco cessation program. TPCP also partners with community health clinics to offer counseling services for uninsured or under-insured tobacco users. Local health departments hold group-based quitting classes for adults and youth in local communities. Efforts to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke focus on strengthening tobacco-free policies in apartment complexes, workplaces, schools, and outdoor venues frequented by children.

Available Services

The Utah Tobacco Quit Line and Utah's online quitting program offer assistance in quitting tobacco use to Utah adults and teens. For services and information call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit Utah's tobacco cessation web site at [].

Health Program Information

To receive more information about tobacco prevention and control programs in Utah, call the Tobacco Free Resource Line at 1-877-220-3466. For information on quitting tobacco use, visit [] or call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Page Content Updated On 11/03/2017, Published on 11/29/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 20 February 2018 2:32:35 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:30:28 MST