Tobacco use in Arkansas 2021
Cigarette use: Arkansas*
Cigarette smoking rates in Arkansas
- In 2020, 20.5% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 9.7% of high school students in Arkansas smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Arkansas
Vaping rates in Arkansas
- In 2018, 7.0% of adults in Arkansas used e-cigarettes
- In 2020, 6.8% of adults in Arkansas used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 24.3% of high school students in Arkansas used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 7.3% of high school students in Arkansas 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, 8.4% of high school students in Arkansas 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
Arkansas cigarette tax
- Arkansas received $281.2 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $10.8 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2020, 29.5% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $1.21 billion per year.4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $1.70 billion per year.5
Arkansas tobacco laws
Arkansas smoking laws
- Arkansas is ranked 36th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.15 per pack (enacted March 2009), 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 68% of the manufacturer’s list price.6
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.7
- Smoking restrictions are required in restaurants, bars and casinos/gaming establishments.7 Exemptions exist for establishments that do not allow anyone under 21 to enter.
- The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited on school grounds, at off-campus school-sponsored events, at childcare facilities, in school or childcare vehicles, in healthcare facilities, on each campus of state higher education institutions, and within 25 feet of state park buildings. Visitors to community correctional facilities are prohibited from bringing vapor products.9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- Retailers and wholesalers are not 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 underage consumers are prohibited.6
- Only sales clerks can access tobacco products prior to their sale.6
- Sale of vapor products (including e-cigarettes and components) and distribution of free vapor product samples or coupons for free samples near youth-centered places to persons under age 21 are prohibited, unless the person is active-duty military or is 19 years old as of December 31, 2019.9
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying and possessing e-cigarettes or other nicotine products, unless the person is active-duty military or is 19 years old as of December 31, 2019.6
- Distribution of free samples of vapor products, e-liquids or components, or coupons for free samples thereof near youth-centered places or to persons under age 21, is prohibited, unless the person is active-duty military or has attained the age of 19 years as of December 31, 2019.9
- Self-service displays or vending machine sales of vapor products or e-liquids are restricted to specialty tobacco and vape shops and locations inaccessible to persons under age 21 unless vending machine is under employee supervision.9
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Arkansas
- The CDC estimates 49.8% of daily adult smokers in Arkansas quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- 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.7**
- Arkansas’ state quit line invests $2.30 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.28.7
- Arkansas 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.