Skip to main content
Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Arkansas 2018

Arkansas cigarette use among adults and high school students

Cigarette use: Arkansas*

  • In 2016, 23.6 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 13.7 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8 percent.²

Other tobacco product use: Arkansas

  • In 2015, 2.8 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 4 percent used smokeless tobacco and 1.9 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 13.9 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 12.7 percent used smokeless tobacco and 14.1 percent used cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rates were 13.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively.²
Arkansas other tobacco product use among adults and high school students

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • Arkansas received $282 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $8.9 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, 24.3 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-related health care costs: $1.21 billion per year
  • Smoking-related losses in productivity: $1.7 billion per year

Arkansas tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

Arkansas 2018 tobacco taxes
  • Arkansas is ranked 34th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.15 per pack (enacted March 2009), compared with the national average of $1.73. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
  • All other tobacco products are taxed at 68 percent of the manufacturer’s list price.

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government and private workplaces (nonpublic workplaces with three or fewer employees are exempt), schools, childcare facilities, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.
  • Smoking restrictions are required in restaurants, bars and casinos/gaming establishments.

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in Arkansas is 18.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.
  • Only sales clerks can access tobacco products prior to their sale.
  • Minors are prohibited from buying e-cigarettes or other nicotine products.

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates 51.3 percent of daily adult smokers in Arkansas quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications. However, there is not enough evidence that the Arkansas Medicaid program has complied with this requirement regarding NRT nasal spray, NRT lozenge and NRT inhaler.**
  • Arkansas’ state quit line invests $2.68 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.10.
  • Arkansas does not have a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.

Notes and references

Updated June 2018

*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, 2016.
  2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.
  3. CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Adults - United States, 2014-2015, MMWR.
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later FY2018, 2017.
  5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, 2018.
  6. American Lung Association, SLATI State Reports, 2017.
  7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2018.
  8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings, 2018.
  9. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.