U.S. Tobacco Use - 2011 to 2016

Week 37 Dataset and Historical Background

Posted by David Velleca on November 12, 2018

Historical Background

For years, smoking was not only culturally acceptable, but also endorsed by medical professionals. So much so that some cigarette advertisements included phrases like "4 out of 5 doctors smoke Camels." In 1953, the earliest evidence linking smoking to lung cancer was released, causing the American Medical Association to ban all cigarette advertising from its journals and other publications. Despite this, advertising in other publications continued to carry medical endorsements.

During that time, however, additional studies were conducted, providing further evidence that smoking (and tobacco use in general) had links to lung cancer and other health risks. It is now generally accepted that tobacco use is tied to several health issues, and smoking is much less culturally accepted. So much so that legislation has been enacted in many municipalities limiting smoking in public areas.

The effectiveness of reduced advertising, changes in cultural perception and laws governing the ability to smoke in certain areas is up for debate. This dataset, though limited to 5 years of data should be able to provide some insight into changes in tobacco use in the 2010's across different age groups. Download the data and see what you can do. Create your viz and post your work to Tableau Public and Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackDataThursday, tagging @TThrowbackThurs. We'd really love to see what you can come up with!

Data Source

This week's dataset comes from the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Survey on Tabacco Use. Please be sure to cite the source on your viz.