Adult reported substance abuse

Updated 12/28/18

The Healthy People 2020 target is to reduce the proportion of adults, aged 18 and older, engaging in binge drinking to 14.3%, yet Washoe County’s percentage continues to be higher and growing. The Centers for Disease Control conducts the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), surveying health risk behaviors in order to identify emerging trends and needed public health policies and programs.


  • Washoe County data changed to Reno MSA beginning 2015
  • Drinks per day survey question changed to at least 1 drink in the past 30 days starting 2016

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke impact health outcomes, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and asthma. The Healthy People 2020 national target is to reduce the proportion of adult cigarette smoking to at least 12%. The reported portion of adult cigarette smokers in Washoe County has decreased along with the percentage of those who report smoking everyday, until 2015.  Adult smoking in Washoe County peaked in 1999 at 28.8%, as did the state of Nevada at 31.5%.  Nevada was second only to Kentucky in the percentage of adult smokers by 2001.

As a state with a high smoking prevalence, exposure to secondhand smoke is also greater, especially for children.  The World Health Organization reports global secondhand smoke risks and finding that correlate to half of the deaths from heart disease, cancer, lung infections and asthma, however, 15-states in the US continue to have no smoke-free bans exposing children and adults to health and related economic-risks.


  • 2014-15=Reno MSA, plus 2013 for Washoe County only


CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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