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Tobacco use in California 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in California was 11.7%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 7.7% of high school students (8.4% of male high school students and 6.8% of female high school students) in California 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 California compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in California was 1.6% in 2014.
  • In 2015, 3.0% of high school students in California 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, 6.8% of high school students in California 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, 21.4% of high school students in California 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 California.

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, California allocated $75.7 million in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 21.8% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • California received an estimated $1.864 billion in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in California, directly caused by smoking, amount to $13.29 billion annually.
  • California loses $10.35 billion in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXCalifornia tobacco tax

  • The state tax increased to $2.87 per pack of cigarettes in April 2017. California is ranked 9th 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 28.95% of the wholesale price.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, private workplaces, public schools, and childcare facilities.
  • Smoking restrictions are required in restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments (tribal establishments are exempt), retail stores, and recreational/cultural facilities.

YOUTH ACCESS LAWS

  • The minimum age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, is 21; active duty military personnel are exempt. California is one of two states with a minimum age of 21 for tobacco products. 
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.

BASEBALL STADIUM LAWS

  • The use of smokeless tobacco is prohibited in California’s five professional baseball stadiums.

LOCAL TOBACCO LAWS

  • Berkeley prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol, within 600 feet of any school.
  • Yolo County prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol.
  • San Francisco and 8 other cities and counties in California have banned pharmacies from selling tobacco products.
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, Sonoma County will require retailers to sell cigarettes for a minimum of $7 a pack.
  • San Francisco caps the number of tobacco sales permits in each of the city’s eleven districts at 45 and new tobacco retailers are prohibited within 500 feet of a school or other retailer.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 52% of adult every day smokers in California 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.
  • California’s state quitline invests $1.61 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • California does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

DOWNLOAD THE CALIFORNIA FACT SHEET

*last updated: May 1, 2017