Microdata: Smoker Status

Presents pooled data about smoking from the National Health Survey and Survey of Income and Housing.

Accessing the data

In 2017–18, the National Health Survey (NHS) and Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) collected a number of items that were common to both surveys. A pooled dataset has been created from those two surveys to allow users to analyse smoker status using those shared items.

For further information on methodology and other details relating to the surveys, see National Health Survey, User Guide, 2017–18 and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, 2017–18.

You can use this data in the DataLab which will allow you to analyse detailed microdata in a remote environment.

Compare access options to see what's right for you or Apply for access.

Data and file structure

The following table shows the levels available on the microdata product and the information contained on those levels:

Level nameInformation contained on level
1. HouseholdGeographic classifications, household size and structure, dwelling characteristics and household smoker information.
2. Selected personDemographic and socio-economic characteristics of survey respondents, as well as information about smoking, disability status and employment status.

Use the data item list in the Data downloads section to confirm this dataset includes what you need for your research before purchasing your subscription.

Relationship between levels

This dataset is hierarchical in nature. A hierarchical data file is a way of presenting information which describes one to many, or many to many, relationships.

The following table shows the hierarchical file structure and the relationship between each level:

Level 1Level 2Relationship type
HouseholdOne record per in scope household.
 Selected PersonSelected persons in household aged 15 years and over.

Using DataLab

The DataLab environment allows real time access to detailed microdata files from the 2017–18 Smoker Status pooled dataset through a portal to a secure ABS environment. The level of detail provided within the DataLab exceeds that previously provided in Expanded CURFs and provides researchers greater access to the data.

The DataLab is an interactive data analysis solution available for users to run advanced statistical analyses, for example, multiple regression and structural equation modelling. The DataLab environment contains up-to-date versions of SPSS, Stata, SAS and R analytical languages. Controls in the DataLab have been put in place to protect the identification of individuals and organisations. All output from DataLab sessions is cleared by an ABS officer before it is released. 

For more information about the DataLab, please see the About the DataLab page.

DataLab test file

Two test files have been created to enable researchers and analysts to become more familiar with the data structure and prepare code and programs before applying for or beginning a DataLab session.

The test files do not contain real data, and cannot be used for analysis. They mimic the structure of the detailed microdata in that they have the same data items and allowed values.

A Person level and Household level test file are available as free downloads from the Data downloads section.

Counts and weights

The following table shows the number of records on each level and the weighted counts, where applicable. The data includes persons aged 15 years and over.

LevelRecord counts (unweighted)Weighted counts (if applicable)
1. Household30,7909,269,437
2. Person44,90419,503,735

There are two weight variables on the detailed microdata files:

  • Household weight (NHIHHWT) - benchmarked to produce household estimates.
  • Person weight (NHIFINWT) - benchmarked to produce the total population aged 15 years and over.


Every record on each level of the file is uniquely identified. The identifiers ABSHIDD and ABSPID appear on both levels of the file.

Each household has a unique thirteen digit random identifier, ABSHIDD. This identifier appears on the household level and is repeated on each level on each record pertaining to that household. The combination of identifiers uniquely identifies a record at a particular level as shown below:

  1. Household = ABSHIDD
  2. Selected person = ABSHIDD + ABSPID

The household record identifier, ABSHIDD, assists with linking people from the same household, and also with household characteristics such as geography (located on the household level) to the person records.

Data downloads

Data files

Quality declaration

Institutional environment

The pooled Smoker Status dataset from the 2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS) and Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) will be released as detailed microdata files in the DataLab.

To maintain confidentiality, microdata files must meet the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

More information on confidentiality practices can be found at: 

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Information from the pooled dataset contributes to existing data and the formulation of government policies and legislation.

The Smoker Status, 2017–18 dataset contains information on a range of topics including:

  • household and personal smoking
  • general demographic information
  • personal and household characteristics
  • education and employment
  • disability

Detailed information about the data items available for this microdata product is provided in the data item list in the Data downloads section.


The 2017–18 NHS and SIH were conducted between July 2017 and June 2018.

Detailed microdata products have already been released for both the NHS and SIH. Further information can be found Microdata: National Health Survey (cat. no. 4324.0.55.001) and Microdata: Income and Housing, Australia (cat. no. 6541.0.30.001).


The microdata contain levels of detail of data items generally greater than those found in publications. For more information on the level of detail provided for the microdata, see the associated data items lists in the Downloads section.

Steps are taken to confidentialise the microdata files in a way that maximises the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the microdata with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available in How the ABS keeps your information confidential.


Information from previous NHS and SIH publications can be found via the links above or by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


The information within this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It contains information about accessing the data, the data and file structure, and how to use each of the microdata products.

Further information, particularly information to assist in interpretation of the data can be found in the Interpretation of Results section of the Explanatory Notes in the following publications:



Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wanting to access microdata should familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

The 2017–18 Smoker Status microdata can be accessed using detailed microdata in the DataLab environment

The Compare Access Options page contains general information on different types of microdata product access. A full list of available microdata can be viewed via Available Microdata.

Other data are available from the ABS on a fee for service basis, subject to confidentiality and data quality constraints. Tabulations to meet individual requirements can incorporate data items, populations and geographic areas.

For further information, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4324.0.55.004.