Altria is committed to the goal of preventing underage use of products intended for adults, and as part of this commitment, we recently created the Underage Tobacco Use Survey (UTUS).

The underage tobacco use landscape has been dynamic in recent years, highlighting the importance of timely information, coverage of new products, and inclusion of young adults, 18-20 years of age, following the federal increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. The UTUS provides timely data covering more product categories as compared to other current survey tools to inform Altria's underage use prevention efforts, align with stakeholder expectations and monitor underage behavior information pursuant to a tobacco product marketing authorization.

Study Design

UTUS uses a repeated, cross-sectional study design to draw probability samples of non-institutionalized, household-dwelling individuals 13-20 years of age living in the United States.

Study samples are drawn from a list-assisted, address-based-sampling approach, and initial contact with households is made through a mailed survey invitation letter. Participation is voluntary and participants can choose to complete the survey via online self-administration or a phone interview with an interviewer.

We require informed assent and parent/guardian informed consent for participants 13-17 years of age, and we require informed consent for participants 18-20 years of age. The UTUS protocol is approved by a designated Institutional Review Board. Data collection for UTUS began with a pilot execution in the first quarter of 2020, and full execution began in the second quarter of 2020. The target sample size for UTUS is 5,000 annually.

Survey Content

UTUS provides coverage of both traditional and newer forms of tobacco products. Tobacco products included in the study are cigarettes, cigars, snuff/dip/chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah, pipe, snus, heated tobacco, and oral nicotine products. New tobacco categories can be included should they emerge in the future.

 

Key measures assessed in UTUS include the following among underage individuals:

  • Awareness of tobacco products
  • Current and ever tobacco use
  • Demographic characteristics
  • Use frequencies
  • Sources of access
  • Brand and flavors used
  • Stopping and intentions to stop

Estimates

In this document, we present estimates from the 2020 aggregated data. Key estimates will be updated every 6 months.

Request Access to Data

The annual UTUS data set is available, with some restrictions, via a data request process. To submit a request, please download and complete this form and send it back to ALCSUTUS@altria.com.

We are committed to sharing UTUS data with public health researchers and others who share our commitment to helping prevent underage tobacco use. Contact us at ALCSUTUS@altria.com with questions or feedback.