Tobacco use in Alabama 2019
Cigarette use: Alabama*
Cigarette use in Alabama
- In 2017, 20.9% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1%.1
- In 2015, 14.0% of high school students in Alabama smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 10.8%.2
Other tobacco product use: Alabama
Use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in Alabama
- In 2017, 4.9% of adults used e-cigarettes and 6.3% used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2015, 24.5% of high school students in Alabama used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 24.1%.2
- In 2015, 12.5% of high school students in Alabama used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 7.3%.2
- In 2015, 13.4% of high school students in Alabama smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 10.3%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
Economics of tobacco use in Alabama
- Alabama received $300.2 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2019.4
- Of this, the state allocated $2.1 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2019, just 3.7% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $1.88 billion per year.4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $2.71 billion per year.5
Alabama tobacco laws
Cigarette tax in Alabama
- Alabama is ranked 41st in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 67.5 cents per pack (enacted October 2015), compared with the national average of $1.81. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.) 6-8
- Chewing tobacco is taxed at 1.5 cents per ounce. All other tobacco products have varying taxes based on weight and price.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is restricted in all government workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.7
- Smoking restrictions are not required in private workplaces, restaurants, bars or casinos/gaming establishments.7
- The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited at licensed day care facilities and licensed emergency medical providers cannot use e-cigarettes while operating or riding in an ambulance or while providing patient care.9
Youth access laws
- The minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Alabama is 21. In December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21, effective immediately.
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.6
- Minors are prohibited from buying electronic smoking devices, including e-cigarettes.6
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting smoking statistics in Alabama
- The CDC estimates 55.1% of daily adult smokers in Alabama quit smoking for one or more days in 2017.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.7**
- Alabama’s state quit line invests $1.40 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.21.7
- Alabama does not have a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.7
Notes and references
Updated April 2019
*National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.
**The seven recommended quitting medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban).
Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.
1. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2017.
2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System, 2015.
3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2017.
4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 20 Years Later FY2019, 2018.
5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States.
6. American Lung Association, State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI).
7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2019.
8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf.
9. Public Health Law Center. U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation: 50-State Review. http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/resources/us-e-cigarette-regulations-50-state-review.