Newest Findings

The United States of America is one of the four original countries of the ITC project. It was chosen due to its economic leadership on the world-stage, and also due to the fact that it has not yet ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which allows for the comparative evaluation of policies at sub-national level. The USA signed the FCTC on May 10, 2003.

Country Profile:

Capital City Washington, D.C.
Population (2006 estimate) 298,444,215
Life expectancy at birth (2002 estimate) Men: 75 years, Women: 80 years
Healthy life expectancy (2002 estimate) Men: 67.2 years, Women: 71.3 years
Ethnic groups White 81.7%, Black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%
GDP per capita (2004) $39,901
Median age 36.5 years
Literacy 99%

Smoking Prevalence:

  • The main form of tobacco used is the cigarette.
  • The overall smoking prevalence has been on the decline since 1965, however a trend showing increased prevalence for people under 30 years of age has developed since 1995.
  • In 2004, the smoking prevalence was found to be approximately 20.9%. This prevalence is slightly lower than the 21.6% and 22.5% prevalence statistics measured the two years previous.

Smoking Policies:

Smoking legislation in the United States is largely sub-national. No state has a lower minimum age than 18 years old for purchasing tobacco, although not all states penalize minors for purchase, possession, or both. Smoking bans also vary by state, with some states having very strict anti-smoking legislation, and others having no smoke-free laws whatsoever. Advertising bans are mostly implemented at the federal level, though only partial bans exist for sponsorship of events by tobacco companies, and advertising in shop windows.

ITC Researchers:

Michael Cummings (Principal Investigator)
Frank Chaloupka
Gary Giovino
Andrew Hyland

Fritz Laux
Qiang Li
Hana Ross
Richard O’Connor

United States policy table

United States Contact Information

Janine Ouimet, Project Manager. Email:

Michael K. Cummings, Principal Investigator. Email:

ITC Affiliated Institutions:







Sources: World Health Organization, CIA World Factbook, National Center for Health Statistics 2003 (NHIS Data), MMWR 2005 Nov 11;54(44):1121-4.

Click here for the ITC United States survey questionnaires »

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