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Tobacco use in Alaska 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in Alaska was 19.1%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 11.1% of high school students (13.3% of male high school students and 8.4% of female high school students) in Alaska smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.8% of high school students smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. 

Graph showing smoking rates in Alaska compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in Alaska was 5.3% in 2014.
  • In 2015, 11.7% of high school students in Alaska used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 7.3% of high school students used smokeless tobacco on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 7.1% of high school students in Alaska smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.3% of high school students smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 17.7% of high school students in Alaska used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 24.1% of high school students used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Graph showing other tobacco product use among High School students in Alaska

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, Alaska allocated $9.5 million in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 93% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • Alaska received an estimated $98 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in Alaska, directly caused by smoking, amount to $438 million annually.
  • Alaska loses $205.9 million in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXAlaska tobacco tax

  • The state tax increased to $2.00 per pack of cigarettes in July 2007. Alaska is ranked 15th in the United States for its cigarette tax. The national average cigarette tax is $1.71 per pack of cigarettes. The highest state cigarette tax is New York ($4.35) and the lowest state cigarette tax is Missouri ($0.17). 
  • All other tobacco products are taxed 75% of the wholesale price.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking is prohibited in schools and childcare facilities. 
  • Smoking restrictions are required in all government workplaces, private workplaces, restaurants, retail stores, and recreational/cultural facilities. 
  • There are no smoking restrictions in bars.

YOUTH ACCESS LAWS

  • The minimum age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products is 19, and penalties exist for both minors and merchants who violate this law.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to persons under 19 are prohibited.
  • The sale to minors of alternative nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 54.0% of adult every day smokers in Alaska quit smoking for one or more days in 2015.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires all Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications beginning January 1, 2014.
  • Alaska’s state quitline invests $3.66 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • Alaska does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

DOWNLOAD THE ALASKA FACT SHEET

*last updated: May 1, 2017