Tobacco use in Alaska 2021
Cigarette use: Alaska*
Cigarette smoking rates in Alaska
- In 2020, 18.5% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 8.4% of high school students in Alaska smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Alaska
Vaping rates in Alaska
- In 2018, 6.0% of adults in Alaska used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2020, 7.2% of adults in Alaska used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 26.1% of high school students in Alaska used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 10.0% of high school students in Alaska used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 3.8%.2
- In 2019, 4.6% of high school students in Alaska smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 5.7%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
Alaska cigarette tax
- Alaska received $80.0 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $9.1 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2021, 89.7% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $438.0 million per year.4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $205.9 million per year.5
Alaska tobacco laws
Alaska smoking laws
- Alaska is ranked 19th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.00 per pack (enacted July 2007), compared with the national average of $1.91. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)6-8
- All other tobacco products are taxed at 75% of the wholesale price.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, private workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, retail stores, bars, restaurants and recreational/cultural facilities.7
- Smoking restrictions are not required in casinos/gaming establishments (tribal establishments only).7
- E-cigarettes are included in the state’s clean indoor air law.9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell e-cigarette products.9
Youth access laws
- Effective December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21. Some states have not yet raised their state minimum age of sale, however, the federal law takes precedence.
- While the federal law takes precedence, under the state law, the minimum sales age for Alaska is 19.
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to consumers under 19 are prohibited.6
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying and possessing alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.6
- Selling or giving an electronic smoking product to an underage person is prohibited (unless FDA-approved for tobacco cessation or other medical purpose).9
- Self-service displays of electronic smoking products are prohibited except in specialty tobacco shops restricting entry to underage persons.9
- Underage persons are prohibited from selling electronic smoking products.
- Vending machines for electronic smoking products must be located in bar, club or package store away from entrance and under continuous supervision.9
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Alaska
- The CDC estimates 56.1% of daily adult smokers in Alaska quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.7**
- Alaska’s state quit line invests $5.98 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.28.7
- Alaska does not have a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.7
Notes and references
Updated August 2021
* 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, 2020.
2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System, 2019.
3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2021.
4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 22 Years Later FY2021, 2020.
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, 2021.
8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf. Accessed.
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. Accessed.