National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS)

Years Available
1999 to present
1999 to 2010: mostly biennial. 2011 to present: annual.
Mode of Collection
Sample survey: self-administered questionnaire.
The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) is a school-based survey that collects information on tobacco use from middle school (grades 6 to 8) and high school (grades 9 to 12) students. NYTS includes measures on tobacco-related behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and exposure to pro- and anti-tobacco influences. Since 2011, the survey has been a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health (CDC, OSH) and the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products (FDA, CTP). The NYTS questionnaire has a core set of questions that are asked annually and agreed upon by both agencies.
Selected Content
Use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products within the past 30 days.
Population Covered
U.S. students in grades 6 through 12.
NYTS uses a three-stage cluster sampling design to generate a cross-sectional, nationally-representative sample of students in grades 6-12 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Prior to 2019, the survey was conducted as a self-administered, paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Beginning in 2019, NYTS switched to being conducted as a self-administered, electronic survey. Data are adjusted for nonresponse and weighted to produce national prevalence estimates, while accounting for the complex survey design.
Response Rates and Sample Size
In 2018, 20,189 students participated; the response rate was 68.2%
Interpretation Issues
Since these data were collected from middle and high school students attending private and public schools, they may not be representative of all youths in the United States. Findings might not be generalizable to youths who are home schooled, have dropped out of school, are in detention centers, or are enrolled in alternative schools.