Skip to main content
Health Information National Trends Survey®
Part of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

What people with cancer should know:
Guidance for cancer researchers:
Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:

Were You Contacted to Participate in HINTS?

Congratulations on being selected to participate in the Health Information National Trends Survey, also known as HINTS! The goal of HINTS is to learn what health information people want to know and where they go to find it. Over 50,000 people across the United States have participated in HINTS since 2003.

By completing the questionnaire you received, you will help us learn what health information you and your family need and how to make it available to you.

In previous HINTS surveys, we learned that:

  • Over 70% of adults in America agree that ‘there are so many different recommendations about preventing cancer, it's hard to know which ones to follow.’
  • 27% of adults in America used wearable devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches to monitor their health in the past year and over 70% of them use the device to track their health every day or almost every day.
  • About one third of adults in America (34%) are not sure whether e-cigarettes are more or less harmful than regular cigarettes.
  • About half of adults in America (47%) reported trying to lose weight in the past year

To make sure HINTS provides accurate information, we need all the households that are invited to participate to complete the questionnaire, so if you have not sent in your questionnaire, we encourage you to do so!

Your participation is voluntary, and your responses will be kept private under the Privacy Act of 1974. Your answers cannot be connected to your name or any other information that could identify you or your household, to the extent provided by law. To read more about the Privacy Act, visit the U.S. Department of Justice Web site at

We have contracted with the research firm Westat to conduct the survey. To learn more about Westat, visit their Web site at

If you have any questions about HINTS or you need another copy of the questionnaire, please call Westat toll-free at 1-888-738-6805.

Thank you in advance for contributing to this important national study.


HINTS Data Terms of Use

It is of utmost importance to ensure the confidentiality of survey participants. Every effort has been made to exclude identifying information on individual respondents from the computer files. Some demographic information such as sex, race, etc., has been included for research purposes. NCI expects that users of the data set will adhere to the strictest standards of ethical conduct for the analysis and reporting of nationally collected survey data. It is mandatory that all research results be presented/published in a manner that protects the integrity of the data and ensures the confidentiality of participants.

In order for the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to provide a public-use or another version of data to you, it is necessary that you agree to the following provisions.

  1. You will not present/publish data in which an individual can be identified. Publication of small cell sizes should be avoided.
  2. You will not attempt to link nor permit others to link the data with individually identified records in another database.
  3. You will not attempt to learn the identity of any person whose data are contained in the supplied file(s).
  4. If the identity of any person is discovered inadvertently, then the following should be done;
    1. no use will be made of this knowledge,
    2. the HINTS Program staff will be notified of the incident,
    3. no one else will be informed of the discovered identity.
  5. You will not release nor permit others to release the data in full or in part to any person except with the written approval of the HINTS Program staff.
  6. If accessing the data from a centralized location on a time sharing computer system or LAN, you will not share your logon name and password with any other individuals. You will also not allow any other individuals to use your computer account after you have logged on with your logon name and password.
  7. For all software provided by the HINTS Program, you will not copy, distribute, reverse engineer, profit from its sale or use, or incorporate it in any other software system.
  8. The source of information should be cited in all publications. The appropriate citation is associated with the data file used. Please see Suggested Citations in the Download HINTS Data section of this Web site, or the Readme.txt associated with the ASCII text version of the HINTS data.
  9. Analyses of large HINTS domains usually produce reliable estimates, but analyses of small domains may yield unreliable estimates, as indicated by their large variances. The analyst should pay particular attention to the standard error and coefficient of variation (relative standard error) for estimates of means, proportions, and totals, and the analyst should report these when writing up results. It is important that the analyst realizes that small sample sizes for particular analyses will tend to result in unstable estimates.
  10. You may receive periodic e-mail updates from the HINTS administrators.