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Tobacco use in Washington 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in Washington was 15.0%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 11.0% of high school students (13.0% of male high school students and 9.0% of female high school students) in Washington 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 Virginia compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in Washington was 3.5% in 2014.
  • In 2016, approximately 2% of 8th graders, 3% of 10th graders, and 6% of 12th graders in Washington used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, in 2015, 7.3% of high school students used smokeless tobacco on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2016, approximately 1% of 8th graders, 4% of 10th graders, and 9% of 12th graders in Washington smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, in 2015, 10.3% of high school students smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2016, approximately 2% of 8th graders, 5% of 10th graders, and 7% of 12th graders in Washington used hookah on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2016, approximately 6% of 8th graders, 13% of 10th graders, and 20% of 12th graders in Washington used e-cigarettes or vape pens on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, in 2015, 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 Washington

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, Washington allocated $2.3 million in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 3.6% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • Washington received an estimated $595.9 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in Washington, directly caused by smoking, amount to $2.81 billion annually.
  • Washington loses $2.2 billion in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXWashington cigarette tax

  • The state tax increased to $3.025 per pack of cigarettes in May 2010. Washington is ranked 8th 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).
  • Little cigars are taxed $0.15125 per cigar. All other cigars are taxed 95% of the taxable sales price, not exceeding $0.65 per cigar. Moist snuff is taxed the greater of $2.526 or 83.5% of the cigarette tax multiplied by 20 for consumer sized cans or packages that weigh 1.2 ounces or less, for cans or packages that weigh more than 1.2 ounces a proportional tax for each ounce or fractional part of an ounce about 1.2 ounces. All other tobacco products are taxed 95% of the taxable sales price.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking is prohibited in childcare facilities, private workplaces, government workplaces, health care facilities, restaurants, schools, casinos (tribal estbalishments are exempt), retail stores, recreational/cultural facilities, and bars.

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 and violators will be punished. The sign must also state that photo ID is required to purchase tobacco products. 
  • The sale of vapor products, including electronic cigarettes, to minors is prohibited.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 49.2% of adult every day smokers in Washington tried to 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. However, there is not yet evidence that the Washington Medicaid program has complied with this requirement regarding NRT nasal spray, NRT lozenge, NRT inhaler, and Varenicline (Chantix). 
  • Washington’s state quitline invests $0.35 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • Washington has no private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

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*last updated: May 1, 2017