Tobacco use in Illinois 2021
Cigarette use: Illinois*
Cigarette smoking rates in Illinois
- In 2020, 12.7% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 4.7% of high school students in Illinois smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Illinois
Vaping rates in Illinois
- In 2017, 4.4% of adults in Illinois used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2020, 1.9% of adults in Illinois used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 19.9% of high school students in Illinois used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 4.1% of high school students in Illinois 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, 6.1% of high school students in Illinois 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
Illinois cigarette tax
- Illinois received $1.15 billion (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $15.1 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2021, 11.0% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $5.49 billion per year4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $5.27 billion per year5
Illinois tobacco laws
Illinois smoking laws
- Illinois is ranked 12th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.98 per pack (enacted June 2012), 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
- Little cigars are taxed at 9.9 cents per cigar. Moist snuff is taxed at 30 cents per ounce. All other tobacco products are taxed at 36% 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
- The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited on public higher education campuses and in any building or structure in the Illinois Capitol Complex.9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- A license is required 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.
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to underage consumers are prohibited.6,7
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.6,7
- The sale or distribution of e-cigarettes to underage persons is prohibited. 9
- Self-service displays of e-cigarettes are restricted to adult-only tobacco stores. 9
- Vending sales of e-cigarettes are restricted to adult-only facilities. 9
- Remote sales of e-cigarettes require third party age verification. 9
Local tobacco laws
- The city of Chicago:
- Prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products or accessories, including menthol, within 500 feet of any city high school10
- 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 public11
- Bans the use of smokeless tobacco at professional and amateur sporting events, including at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field12
- Prohibits retailers from redeeming coupons or other discounts on tobacco products11
- Prohibits the sale of little cigars in packages of less than 10.11
- River Forest prohibits the sale of flavored liquid nicotine products.10
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Illinois
- The CDC estimates 52.7% of daily adult smokers in Illinois quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.7**
- Illinois’s state quit line invests $2.99 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.28.7
- Illinois requires that most private health insurance plans be in compliance with ACA guidance on quitting tobacco as a preventive service.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.
10. Truth Initiative, Local restrictions on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/local-restrictions-flavored-tobacco-and-e-cigarette.
11. City of Chicago. Tobacco Regulations. https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/tobaccoregulations.html. Published 2016. Accessed.
12. Knock Tobacco Out of the Park. https://tobaccofreebaseball.org/. Accessed.