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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Illinois 2018

Illinois cigarette use among adults and high school students

Cigarette use: Illinois*

  • In 2016, 15.8 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 7.6 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: Illinois

  • In 2015, 2.0 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 1.0 percent used smokeless tobacco and 2.5 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 13.2 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 5.6 percent used smokeless tobacco and 8.1 percent smoked 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
Illinois other tobacco use among adults and high school students

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • Illinois received $1.129 billion (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $7.3 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, just 5.3 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-related health care costs: $5.49 billion per year
  • Smoking-related losses in productivity: $5.27 billion per year

Illinois tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

Illinois 2018 tobacco taxes
  • Illinois is ranked 20th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.98 per pack (enacted June 2012), 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
  • Little cigars are taxed at 0.099 cent per cigar. Moist snuff is taxed at 30 cents per ounce. All other tobacco products are taxed at 36 percent of the manufacturer’s list price.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, private workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.⁶ ⁷

Youth access laws

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

Local tobacco laws: Chicago

  • The city of Chicago:
    • Prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products or accessories, including menthol, within 500 feet of any city high school
    • Requires a retail tobacco license for the sale of e-cigarettes and bans the distribution and sale of e-cigarettes to minors, prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes within 100 feet of a school and/or day care facility, and requires e-cigarettes be stored in a manner that is not physically accessible to the public
    • Prohibits the sale of tobacco products and accessories to people under age 21
    • Bans the use of smokeless tobacco at professional and amateur sporting events, including at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field¹⁰
    • Prohibits retailers from redeeming coupons or other discounts on tobacco products
    • Prohibits the sale of little cigars in packages of less than 10

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates 54.0 percent of daily adult smokers in Illinois quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.¹¹
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.**
  • Illinois’s state quit line invests $2.05 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.10.
  • Illinois requires that most private health insurance plans be in compliance with ACA guidance on quitting tobacco as a preventive service.

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. City of Chicago. Tobacco Regulations. 2016;
  10. Knock Tobacco Out of the Park.
  11. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.