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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Pennsylvania 2018

Pennsylvania cigarette use among adults and high school students

Cigarette use: Pennsylvania*

  • In 2016, 18.0 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 8.7 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: Pennsylvania

  • In 2015, 2.8 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 2.6 percent used smokeless tobacco and 3.2 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 11.3 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 6.0 percent used smokeless tobacco and 7.6 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
Pennsylvania other tobacco product use among adults and high school students

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • Pennsylvania received $1.786 billion (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $15.8 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, just 11.3 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $6.38 billion per year
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $5.73 billion per year

Pennsylvania tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

Pennsylvania 2018 tobacco taxes
  • Pennsylvania is ranked 11th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.60 per pack (enacted August 2016), compared to 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 (weighing under four pounds per thousand) are taxed at 13 cents per cigar. E-cigarettes are taxed at 40 percent of the purchase price charged to the retailer. Roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco are taxed at 55 cents per ounce on all fractional parts of an ounce.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in government workplaces, private workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.⁶ ⁷
  • Smoking restrictions are required in restaurants and casinos/gaming establishments (tribal establishments exempt).⁶ ⁷
  • There are no smoking restrictions for bars.⁶ ⁷

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in Pennsylvania is 18.
  • Only sales clerks are allowed access to tobacco products prior to sale, unless the tobacco products are located within the line of sight or under the control of a cashier or other employee and unless it is a retail store which derives 75 percent or more of sales revenue from tobacco products.

Local tobacco laws

  • Philadelphia restricts the number of tobacco retailers to one per 1,000 people in each planning district and prohibits new tobacco retailers within 500 feet of a school.

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates that 51.2 percent of daily adult smokers in Pennsylvania quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.¹⁰
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.**
  • Pennsylvania’s state quit line invests $1.47 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.10.
  • Pennsylvania does not have a private insurance mandate provision 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, 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 Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Regulation Relating to Tobacco Retailing. 2016;
  10. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.