Tobacco use in Delaware 2021
Cigarette use: Delaware*
Cigarette smoking rates in Delaware
- In 2020, 15.1% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2017, 6.2% of high school students in Delaware smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8% in 2017.2
Other tobacco product use
Vaping rates in Delaware
- In 2018, 4.7% of adults in Delaware used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2020, 2.4% of adults in Delaware used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2017, 13.6% of high school students in Delaware used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 13.2%.2
- In 2017, 3.5% of high school students in Delaware used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 5.5%.2
- In 2017, 7.3% of high school students in Delaware smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.0%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
Delaware cigarette tax
- Delaware received $139.3 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $7.1 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2020, 54.5% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $532 million per year.4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $391.2 million per year.5
Delaware tobacco laws
Delaware smoking laws
- Delaware is ranked 17th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.10 per pack (enacted September 2017), 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.)6,7
- Moist snuff is taxed at 92 cents per ounce and vaping products are taxed at 5 cents per fluid millimeter of liquid in the product. All other tobacco products are taxed at 30% of the manufacturer’s list price.6,8
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in all government and private workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.6
- E-cigarettes are included in the state’s definition of smoking.9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.8
- A license is required to sell e-liquid, but no license is required to sell e-cigarette devices.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.
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to underage consumers are prohibited.6,8
- Only sales clerks can access tobacco products prior to their sale.6,8
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying e-cigarettes.6,8
- The sale or distribution of tobacco substitutes or coupons for tobacco substitutes to underage persons is prohibited. 9
- Self-service displays and vending machine sales of tobacco substitutes are prohibited in places accessible to underage persons. 9
- Marketing or advertising tobacco substitutes on online or mobile applications directed to children is prohibited. 9
- Delivery sales of tobacco substitutes require a copy of valid government identification and an attestation from the purchaser stating the identification is true and the consumer understands the minimum legal sales age, delivery to the address on the identification, and is paid for with a credit or debit card issued in the consumer’s name. In addition, the package must include a notice stating that tobacco substitute sales to consumers under age 21 are illegal. 9
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Delaware
- The CDC estimates 49.0% of daily adult smokers in Delaware quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.6**
- Delaware’s state quit line invests $11.61 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.28.6
- A cessation bulletin has been issued for the private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.6
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 Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.
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 of Tobacco Control, 2021.
7. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf. Accessed.
8. American Lung Association, State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI).
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.