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Update to the design and methods of the PATH Study, Wave 4 (2016–2017)
  1. Jean D Opsomer1,
  2. Sylvia Dohrmann1,
  3. Ralph DiGaetano1,
  4. Andrea Piesse1,
  5. Ethel Taylor2,
  6. MeLisa R Creamer3,
  7. Daifeng Han1,
  8. Colm Everard3,
  9. Nicolette Borek2,
  10. Frost Hubbard1,
  11. Izabella Zandberg2,
  12. Moana Kanel3,
  13. Kristie Taylor1,
  14. Heather L Kimmel4,
  15. Antonio Paredes2,
  16. Yumiko Siegfried1,
  17. Yu-Ching Cheng2,
  18. Jonathan Kwan2,
  19. Charles Carusi1,
  20. Andrew Hyland5
  1. 1Westat Inc, Rockville, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Center for Tobacco Products, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  3. 3National Institute on Drug Abuse, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
  4. 4DESPR, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  5. 5Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jean D Opsomer, Westat Inc, Rockville, Maryland, USA; jeanopsomer{at}


The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study is a nationally representative study of the US population on tobacco use and its effects on health, with four waves of data collection between 2013 and 2017. Prior work described the methods of the first three waves. In this paper, we describe the methods of Wave 4, during which a replenishment sample was added to the ongoing cohort. We describe the design and estimation methods of the continuing Wave 1 cohort (with four waves of data) and the Wave 4 cohort (the new cohort created at Wave 4). We provide survey quality metrics, including response rates for both cohorts and a panel conditioning analysis, and guidance on understanding the target populations for both cohorts.

  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Public opinion
  • Addiction

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. Not applicable.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. Not applicable.

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  • Contributors JO: Lead author, guarantor. SD, RD, AP, DH, FH, KT, YS, CC, AH: Participated in planning, conducting and reporting the work. ET, MC, CE, NBH, IZ, MK, HLK, AP, Y-CC, JK: Participated in planning and reporting the work.

  • Funding This manuscript is supported with Federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services, under contract to Westat (contract nos. HHSN271201100027C and HHSN271201600001C), and through an interagency agreement between NIH NIDA and FDA CTP. HLK and MC were substantially involved in the scientific management of and providing scientific expertise for contract nos. HHSN271201100027C and HHSN271201600001C. This article was prepared while IZ was employed at the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products.

  • Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the US Department of Health and Human Services or any of its affiliated institutions or agencies.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.