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Smoking

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12% of adults in Travis County are smokers

Indicator: Percent of adults in Travis County who are smokers

Goal: Reduce the percentage of people who smoke

Target: 12% by 2020

Significance of Indicator: Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They estimate that smoking results in billions of dollars in cost to US residents as a result of medical expenditures and lost productivity. The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department says that smoking also has environmental consequences as it takes an estimated ten years for a cigarette butt to decompose.

what the data tell us

In 2011, 16% of Travis County residents reported being smokers. In 2013, the percentage decreased to 12%. The state of Texas and the nation as a whole experienced a similar decline in reported smoking (19% to 16% in Texas and 21% to 18% in the U.S.). A lower share of Travis County residents are smokers than in the nation as a whole; 18% of Americans are current smokers. A small sample of people are surveyed about their smoking habits through the tool used to collect this data. As a result, the percentage decrease reported does not represent a statistically significant decline in the percentage of smokers in Travis County. The decline in smoking among Texans was statistically significant, however.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. In 2011 the surveying process was expanded to include people with cell phones as well as people with landlines. As a result, this data is not comparable to BRFSS data from years prior to 2011. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are relatively small. Differences appearing on the graph may not be statistically significant at the 95% level and should be interpreted with caution.

the story behind the indicator

In 2013, 12% of Travis County residents reported being current smokers, meeting CAN’s community target. Although small sample sizes for local estimates preclude definitive conclusions, the percent of Travis County residents who report current smoking appears to have declined since 2011. This follows the overall trend in Texas. In 2013, 16% of Texans were current smokers, down from 19% in 2011. Of concern, smoking in the overall 5-county Austin-Round Rock Metro Area does not appear to have declined to the extent experienced in other jurisdictions. Overall, local residents do seem to smoke at lower rates than Texans as a whole, however.

some local efforts to improve this indicator

Collaborative Initiatives

 

Plans, Data, and Reports

 

  • The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan supports the promotion of tobacco cessation programs for children and adults and the development of regulations to support tobacco-free environments.

  •  

a closer look at the story behind the indicator:

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» Smoking in Travis County - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data

% of adults in Travis County who are current smokers by income

People with low incomes are generally more likely to smoke than people with higher incomes. In 2013, 18% of Travis County residents with incomes less than $25,000 and 14% of residents with incomes between $25,000-$49,999 reported being smokers. Only 9% of people with incomes of $50,000 or greater reported being smokers.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by income

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. In 2011 the surveying process was expanded to include people with cell phones as well as people with landlines. As a result, this data is not comparable to BRFSS data from years prior to 2011. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are very small. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are relatively small. Differences appearing on the graph may not be statistically significant at the 95% level and should be interpreted with caution.

% of adults in Travis County who are current smokers by age

Younger adults are more likely to be smokers than adults in other age groups. Twelve percent of adults ages 18-29 were smokers in 2013 compared to 14% of adults ages 30-44, 13% of adults ages 45-64, and 4% of adults ages 65 and over.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by age

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. In 2011 the surveying process was expanded to include people with cell phones as well as people with landlines. As a result, this data is not comparable to BRFSS data from years prior to 2011. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are very small. Changes shown in this graph fall within the margin of error for the data and are not statistically significant. In 2012, the data for the population ages 18-29 is considered unstable because it either has a relative standard error greater than 30% or because the denominator represents fewer than 50 respondents. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are relatively small. Differences appearing on the graph may not be statistically significant at the 95% level and should be interpreted with caution.

% of adults who are current smokers in Travis County by gender

Men are more likely to report being smokers than women. In 2013, 14% of men in Travis County were smokers compared to 10% of women.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by gender

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. In 2011 the surveying process was expanded to include people with cell phones as well as people with landlines. As a result, this data is not comparable to BRFSS data from years prior to 2011. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are very small. Changes shown in this graph fall within the margin of error for the data and are not statistically significant.

% of adults who are current smokers in Travis County by race and ethnicity

In 2013, Hispanic and White adults in Travis County were about equally likely to report being smokers. Data for the Black population are unavailable for 2013 due to small sample sizes. Ten percent of Hispanics were smokers compared to 9% of Whites.

Definition:Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by race and ethnicity

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. In 2011 the surveying process was expanded to include people with cell phones as well as people with landlines. As a result, this data is not comparable to BRFSS data from years prior to 2011. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are very small. Changes shown in this graph fall within the margin of error for the data and are not statistically significant. In 2011 and 2012, the data for the Black population is considered unstable because it either has a relative standard error greater than 30% or because the denominator represents fewer than 50 respondents. The 2011 data for Hispanics is also considered to be unstable. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are relatively small. Differences appearing on the graph may not be statistically significant at the 95% level and should be interpreted with caution. Due to small sample size, data for the Black population was not provided for 2013.

» Youth Cigarette Smoking in Texas - Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data

% of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month

Fourteen percent of Texas students reported smoking cigarettes at least once within the past month. There has been a steady decline in the percentage of students who have reported smoking cigarettes since 2001.

Definition:Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially in odd numbered years.

% of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month by gender

Boys have been consistently more likely to report having smoked one or more cigarettes within the past month than girls over the past decade. In 2013, 17% of boys reported smoking within the last month compared to 12% of girls.

Definition: Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days by gender

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially on odd numbered years.

% of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month by race and ethnicity

Over time, Black youth have been the least likely to report being smokers while White youth have been the most likely to report being smokers. In 2013, 6% of Black youth reported being smokers compared to 14% of Hispanic youth, and 18% of White youth.

Definition: Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days by race and ethnicity

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially on odd numbered years.

» % of Austin ISD Student Tobacco Use

% of AISD students who report having used tobacco within the last month

High school students are more likely to report having used tobacco within the last month than middle school students. The percentage of high school and middle school students who report having used tobacco within the last month has declined over the past five years. During the 2013-2014 school year, 9% of high school students and 2% of middle school student report having used tobacco within the past month.

Definition: Percentage of students in high school and middle school in the Austin Independent School District that report using tobacco everyday

Data Source: Austin Independent School District, Department of Program Evaluation

Data Considerations: Data are based on a sample of students and may not represent statistically significant changes.

selected populations