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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Georgia 2018

Georgia cigarette use among adults and high school students

Cigarette use: Georgia*

  • In 2016, 17.9 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1%.¹
  • In 2013, 12.8 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 15.7 percent.²

Other tobacco product use: Georgia

  • In 2015, 2.5 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 1.9 percent used smokeless tobacco and 2.1 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2013, 9.5 percent of high school students used smokeless tobacco and 13.5 percent smoked cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rates were 8.8 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.²
Georgia other tobacco product use among adults and high school students

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • Georgia received $385.6 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $903,159 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, just 0.9 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-related health care costs: $3.18 billion per year
  • Smoking-related losses in productivity: $3.99 billion per year

Georgia tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

Georgia 2018 tobacco taxes
  • Georgia is ranked 49th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 37 cents per pack (enacted July 2003), compared to the national average of $1.72. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
  • Loose or smokeless tobacco is taxed 10 percent of the wholesale cost price. Little cigars are taxed 5 cents per pack of 20 cigars. All other cigars are taxed 23 percent of the manufacturer’s list price.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, schools, childcare facilities and recreational/cultural facilities.
  • Smoking restrictions are required in private workplaces, restaurants, bars and retail stores.

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products is 18. Penalties exist for both minors and merchants who violate this law.⁶ ⁷
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.⁶ ⁷
  • The sale of alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, to minors is prohibited.⁶ ⁷

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates 51.5 percent of daily adult smokers in Georgia quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required all Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.**
  • Georgia’s quit line invests $1.09 per smoker; compared to the national average of $2.10.
  • Georgia does not have a private insurance mandate 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 cessation 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, 2013.
  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.