Tobacco use in Texas 2021
Cigarette use: Texas
Cigarette smoking rates in Texas
- In 2020, 13.2% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 4.9% of high school students in Texas smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Texas
Vaping rates in Texas
- In 2018, 5.2% of adults in Texas used e-cigarettes. 3
- In 2020, 3.3% of adults in Texas used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 18.7% of high school students in Texas used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 3.4% of high school students in Texas 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, 5.7% of high school students in Texas 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
Texas cigarette tax
- Texas received $1.87 billion (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $4.2 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2021, 1.6% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-caused health care costs: $8.85 billion per year.4
- Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $8.22 billion per year.5
Texas tobacco laws
Texas smoking laws
- Texas is ranked 31st in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.41 per pack (enacted January 2007), compared to 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
- Cigars are taxed 1 cent per 10 (or fraction of 10 for those weighing less than three pounds per thousand). Cigars weighing more than three pounds per thousand are taxed at $7.50-$15 per thousand, depending on their factory list price and whether they contain a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients. All other tobacco products are taxed $1.22 per ounce.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in childcare facilities.6,7
- Smoking restrictions are required in schools and recreational/cultural facilities.6,7
- There are no smoking restrictions for government workplaces, private workplaces, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments and retail stores.6,7
- Many municipalities in Texas have local 100% smoke-free laws, to include bars, restaurants, and non-hospitality workplaces.
- The use of e-cigarettes is restricted to designated areas in schools, elevators, enclosed theaters, libraries, museums, hospitals, certain buses, planes and trains. School trustees must prohibit e-cigarette use and student possession of e-cigarettes at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited at school, and before/after-school programs, including the premises, playground, transportation vehicles, and during field trips. The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited at childcare homes and centers, in residential child care facilities, in licensed pediatric extended care transportation vehicles, and inside foster homes.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.
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying, possessing, and using alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.6
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to underage consumers are prohibited.6
- The sale or distribution of e-cigarettes and the distribution and redemption of coupons for e-cigarettes to underage persons are prohibited (unless purchaser is at least 18 AND U.S. or state military identification card). 9
- Self-service and vending machine sales of e-cigarettes is restricted to locations inaccessible to underage persons. 9
- Retailers of e-cigarette delivery sales must register with the state, verify at the time of purchase and at delivery that the purchaser is at least 21 years old, include a notice about the prohibition on selling e-cigarettes to underage persons, and file certain information about the purchaser with the comptroller. 9
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Texas
- The CDC estimates 47.4% of daily adult smokers in Texas quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
- Texas’s state quit line invests 89 cents per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.28.7
- Texas does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.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 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, 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.