This survey is an attempt to contribute to the understanding of tobacco control through the introduction of an institutional-based perspective that stresses not simply individual variations in behaviors and attitudes, but rather attempts to use cross-sectional survey data to monitor trends for societal norms, practices, and beliefs surrounding tobacco. This technique is primarily one of a shift in focus and interpretation rather than basic survey methodology.
The design of the survey instrument was based on an extensive review of extant instruments such as the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Current Population Survey - Tobacco Supplement, and the California Adult Tobacco Survey, and supplemented by additional items needed to flesh out the social climate concept. The reliance on existing measurements was greatly enhanced by the review and excellent advice from the Office of Smoking and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The origins of this study can be traced to research associated with the tobacco settlement in Mississippi.