Tobacco Use Prevention and Control

Illinois State Facts

Adult Prevalence:
High School Smoking Rate:
Middle School Smoking Rate:
Smoking Attributable Deaths:
Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:
Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:


Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011 Prevalence Data. High school smoking rate is taken from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the 2006 Youth Tobacco Survey.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2000-2004 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. They do not take into account deaths from burns or secondhand smoke. Respiratory diseases include pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, emphysema and chronic airway obstruction. The estimated economic impact of smoking is based on smoking-attributable health care expenditures in 2004 and the average annual productivity losses for the period 2000-2004.


The second year of the 97th Illinois General Assembly proved to be extremely successful for the American Lung Association in Illinois as we protected tobacco cessation and prevention funding, passed a $1/pack cigarette excise tax increase, and protected the Smoke Free Illinois Act by soundly defeating a bill to sell smoking licenses to bars, private clubs and casinos with 80 No votes and 32 Yes votes.

The 2012 legislative session started with a dismal outlook for tobacco control legislation.  The November election loomed darkly, with every legislative seat up for reelection, which only happens once every ten years.  It was highly unlikely that any controversial bill or any tax would pass while every legislator was campaigning for reelection.  Early in the year we focused on a parity bill to tax roll-your-own cigarettes at the same rate as manufactured cigarettes. Roll-your-own cigarettes avoided most taxes and were available at half the cost of manufactured cigarettes.  We knew there were at least 65 roll-your-own stations around the state yielding easily accessible and cheap tobacco products.  While we saw this as a parity issue and felt that all cigarettes should be taxed the same, the bill stalled early when some legislators determined this was a tax increase.

The General Assembly was faced with the difficult task of cutting Medicaid services by $2.7 billion dollars.  They successfully made $1.6 billion in cuts but felt they could go no further and were desperate for a solution.  The Lung Association quickly built a statewide coalition to increase the cigarette tax and prevent further devastating cuts to the Medicaid program. Coalition members included the Illinois Hospital Association and over 700 human services and health organizations.   The Lung Association created a webpage, a Facebook page and Twitter account to keep a very broad statewide coalition up to date, activated and informed.  Effective June 24, 2012, the new law includes the $1/pack cigarette tax, doubled the tax on Other Tobacco Products, and taxes both little cigars and roll-your-own at the new manufactured cigarette tax rate as well.   Because the new revenue from the cigarette tax will be used for Medicaid, it receives matching dollars from the federal government.  It is estimated that 77,000 kids will not start to smoke and 60,000 adults will quit due to the tax increase.   This new law is a win-win-win for the state of Illinois. 

The American Lung Association in Illinois looks forward to welcoming many new legislators to the 98th General Assembly.  We will continue to work to create a norm of tobacco free workplaces, educational facilities including college and university campuses, and outdoor recreational areas such as playgrounds and parks.  

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