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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Pennsylvania 2019

Cigarette use: Pennsylvania

Cigarette use in Pennsylvania

  • In 2017, 18.8% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1%.1
  • In 2017, 8.7% of high school students in Pennsylvania smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8%.2
Cigarette use in Pennsylvania graph

Other tobacco product use: Pennsylvania

E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use in Pennsylvania

  • In 2017, 4.7% of adults used e-cigarettes and 4.0% used smokeless tobacco.3
  • In 2017, 11.3% of high school students in Pennsylvania used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 13.2%.2
  • In 2017, 6.0% of high school students in Pennsylvania 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, 7.6% of high school students in Pennsylvania smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.0%.2
Other tobacco product use in Pennsylvania graph

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

Economics of tobacco use in Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania received $1.7 billion (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2019.4
  • Of this, the state allocated $15.5 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2019, 11.1% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $6.38 billion per year.4
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $5.73 billion per year.5
Cigarette tobacco tax in Pennsylvania graph

Pennsylvania tobacco laws

Cigarette tax in Pennsylvania

Tobacco taxes

  • Pennsylvania is ranked 13th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.60 per pack (enacted August 2016), compared to the national average of $1.81. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)6-8
  • Little cigars weighing under four pounds per thousand are taxed at 13 cents per cigar.
  • E-cigarettes are taxed at 40% 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 are exempt).6,7
  • There are no smoking restrictions for bars.6,7
  • No smoke-free restrictions exist for e-cigarette use.9

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Pennsylvania is 21. In December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21, effective immediately.
  • 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 stores which derives 75% or more of sales revenue from tobacco products.6

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.10

Quitting statistics and benefits

Quitting statistics in Pennsylvania

  • The CDC estimates 49.8% of daily adult smokers in Pennsylvania quit smoking for one or more days in 2017.3
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
  • Pennsylvania’s state quit line invests $1.47 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.21.7
  • Pennsylvania does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.7

Notes and references

Updated April 2019

*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, 2017.

2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.

3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2017.

4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 20 Years Later FY2019, 2018.

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, 2019.

8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings.

9. Public Health Law Center. U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation: 50-State Review.

10. City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Regulation Relating to Tobacco Retailing. 2016;