U.S. State and Local Issues 


Tobacco use takes a huge toll in health, lives and dollars in every state.

Tobacco costs state taxpayers billions each year in Medicaid and other health care expenses and imposes enormous costs on families and businesses.

State and local governments can reduce tobacco use, save lives and save money by implementing proven solutions to the problem.

These include higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws that apply to all workplaces and public places, and well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention and cessation programs. A new strategy is to increase the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21.

While each of these measures is effective on its own, states have achieved greater reductions in tobacco use by implementing a comprehensive strategy.

Key U.S. State and Local Issues

  • Smoke-Free Laws
    More and more states and localities are passing smoke-free laws that protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air – free from harmful secondhand smoke.

  • State Tobacco Taxes
    Tobacco taxes are a win-win-win for states: they reduce smoking, raise billions in revenue and are popular with voters. 

  • Prevention and Cessation Programs
    Every state should fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit at CDC-recommended levels. Only two states currently do.

  • Increasing the Sale Age for Tobacco Products to 21
    Nearly all smokers start as kids or young adults, and these age groups are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. Increasing the sale age will help prevent young people from ever starting to smoke.



Find the toll of tobacco in your state

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It takes a tremendous toll in every state in health, lives and dollars. All taxpayers pay for tobacco-related health care

costs — including billions in Medicaid expenditures — and businesses suffer higher insurance costs and productivity losses. States should implement proven measures to reduce this toll.

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