I have been massaging and digesting data from the annual SAMSHA study on drug alcohol and tobacco use among the American population and have some interesting slides to show you. I hope you find them as enlightening as I did.
Past month Tobacco use by Education:
As observed from 2002 onward, cigarette smoking in the past month was less prevalent among adults who were college graduates compared with those with less education. Among adults aged 18 or older, current cigarette use in 2008 was reported by 34.4 percent of those who had not completed high school, 30.6 percent of high school graduates who did not attend college, 26.6 percent of persons with some college, and 14.0 percent of college graduates.
Among young adults 18 to 22 years old, full-time college students were less likely to be current cigarette smokers than their peers who were not enrolled full time in college. Cigarette use in the past month in 2008 was reported by 27.2 percent of full-time college students, less than the rate of 40.6 percent for those not enrolled full time.
In 2008, current cigarette smoking was more common among unemployed adults aged 18 or older than among adults who were working full time or part time (43.0 vs. 27.2 and 23.8 percent, respectively). Cigar smoking followed a similar pattern, with 9.8 percent of unemployed adults reporting past month use compared with 6.4 percent of full-time workers and 5.5 percent of part-time workers.
Tobacco Use by Age:
Current use of smokeless tobacco in 2008 was higher among adults aged 18 or older who were employed full time (4.8 percent) and those who were unemployed (4.9 percent) than among adults who were employed part time (1.8 percent) and those in the “other” employment category, which includes persons not in the labor force (2.0 percent).
Use of illicit drugs and alcohol was more common among current cigarette smokers than among nonsmokers in 2008, as in prior years since 2002. Among persons aged 12 or older, 20.4 percent of past month cigarette smokers reported current use of an illicit drug compared with 4.2 percent of persons who were not current cigarette smokers. Past month alcohol use was reported by 67.4 percent of current cigarette smokers compared with 46.7 percent of those who did not use cigarettes in the past month. The association also was found with binge drinking (44.6 percent of current cigarette smokers vs. 16.5 percent of current nonsmokers) and heavy drinking (16.8 vs. 3.8 percent, respectively).
Drug Use by Employment Status:
It is interesting stuff if you take the time to think about it.