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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS)

What do tobacco, surveys, and evaluation have in common? Without all three, society cannot hope for tobacco cessation. The National Adult Tobacco Survey (NATS) provides critical health behavior data to assess the prevalence of tobacco use, as well as the factors promoting and impeding tobacco use among adults.

To monitor tobacco consumption trends, the CDC called on ICF in 2009 to collect more 95,000 landline respondents including additional 6,000 respondents via cell phones. During the 2013 iteration, we collected over 75,000 interviews. This design allowed the data to be representative and comparable at both national and state levels.

National-scale surveys like NATS pose multiple known and unexpected challenges. ICF developed and tested the questionnaire in English and Spanish, programmed the CATI scripts, obtained federal clearance, fielded the study, and authored the methodological report. Coupled with ICF’s extensive accountability tracking system experience, potential unexpected challenges were easily bypassed.

Considering the data collection scale and sample size, the CDC expected data completion in 12 months. ICF successfully administered an entirely new, national project in under five months.