Who Still Smokes?

By Nathan Yau  /  Posted to Data Underload  /  Tags: ,

It’s been a couple of decades since California banned smoking in all enclosed workplaces. It’s long enough for it to seem like a long time ago but short enough to remember the smell of smoke in most restaurants. Heck, people used to smoke on airplanes.

Two decades out from the 1995 law in California, along with the known impact of smoking on one’s health, you’d think smoking rates would be way down. And you’d be right for many demographic groups, but for some, smoking is still the same as it ever was.

See the differences and changes in the the charts below. They show estimated percentage of adult smokers among different groups, for 1994 and 2014. Estimates are based on survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Nerd Notes

  • Data comes from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014 there were 464,664 interviews, and in 1994 there were 105,853 interviews. Records are weighted to reflect the national population at the time.
  • Household income was not adjusted for inflation. The income groups have stayed the same in the BRFSS survey, I’m guessing for comparability over years.
  • I analyzed and prepared the data in R. I used d3.js to make stacked bar charts.

Favorites

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?