Skip to main content
Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in Tennessee 2019

Cigarette use: Tennessee

Cigarette use in Tennessee

  • In 2017, 22.6% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1%.1
  • In 2017, 9.4% of high school students in Tennessee smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8%.2
Cigarette use in Tennessee graph

Other tobacco product use: Tennessee

E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use in Tennessee

  • In 2017, 5.8% of adults in Tennessee used e-cigarettes and 6.0% used smokeless tobacco.3
  • In 2017, 11.5% of high school students in Tennessee used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 13.2%.2
  • In 2017, 7.3% of high school students in Tennessee 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, 9.6% of high school students in Tennessee 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 Tennessee graph

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

Economics of tobacco use in Tennessee

  • Tennessee received $422 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2019.4
  • Of this, the state allocated $0 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2019, which is 0% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $2.67 billion per year.4
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $3.59 billion per year.5
Cigarette tobacco tax in Tennessee graph

Tennessee tobacco laws

Cigarette tax in Tennessee

Tobacco laws 

  • Tennessee is ranked 43rd in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 62 cents per pack (enacted July 2007), 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
  • All other tobacco products are taxed at 6.6% of the wholesale cost price.6,7

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in government workplaces, private workplaces (non-public workplaces with three or fewer employees exempt), schools, childcare facilities, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.6,7
  • Smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars that do not allow persons under 21 to enter at any time.6,7
  • The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited at Tennessee Technological University and nearby Cookeville student housing.9

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Tennessee 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.
  • Minors are prohibited from buying bidis and/or e-cigarettes.6
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.6

Quitting statistics and benefits

Quitting statistics in Tennessee

  • The CDC estimates 44.7% of daily adult smokers in Tennessee 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**
  • Tennessee’s state quit line invests 39 cents per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.21.7
  • Tennessee 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.