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Tobacco use in Kentucky 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in Kentucky was 26.0%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 16.9% of high school students (15.7% of male high school students and 18.0% of female high school students) in Kentucky 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 Kentucky compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in Kentucky was 6.8% in 2014.
  • In 2015, 12.6% of high school students in Kentucky 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, 14.0% of high school students in Kentucky 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, 23.4% of high school students in Kentucky 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 Kentucky

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, Kentucky allocated $2.4 million in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 4.2% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • Kentucky received an estimated $361 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in Kentucky, directly caused by smoking, amount to $1.92 billion annually.
  • Kentucky loses $2.79 billion in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXKentucky cigarette tax

  • The state tax increased to $0.60 per pack of cigarettes in April 2009. Kentucky is ranked 43rd 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).
  • Moist snuff is taxed $0.19 per unit of 1.5 ounces or less. Chewing tobacco is taxed $0.19 per each single unit, $0.40 per each half pound unit, and $0.65 per each pound unit. All other tobacco products are taxed 15% of the wholesale price.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking restrictions are required in government workplaces (prohibited in state government buildings) and schools. 
  • There are no smoking restrictions in private workplaces, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments, retail stores, and recreational/cultural facilities.

YOUTH ACCESS LAWS

  • The minimum age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products is 18, and penalties exist for both minors and merchants who violate this law.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.
  • The sale to minors of electronic cigarettes is prohibited.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 46.7% of adult every day smokers in Kentucky quit smoking for one or more days in 2015.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires all Medicaid programs cover all recommended tobacco cessation medications beginning January 1, 2014. 
  • Kentucky’ state quitline invests $1.01 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • Kentucky does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

DOWNLOAD THE KENTUCKY FACT SHEET

*last updated: May 1, 2017