How does your state compare?

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Arkansas. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Arkansas’s elected officials:

  1. Ensure continued access to tobacco use treatment services for all those who want to quit smoking, including comprehensive coverage for such services under Medicaid;
  2. Allocate state funding of $14.6 million for the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program and ensure that funding is spent according to CDC’s Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs; and
  3. Repeal state preemption of local tobacco control authority.
During the 2023 session of the legislature, the American Lung Association worked to ensure funding for Medicaid expansion was included in the state’s constitutionally required balanced budget. Maintaining Medicaid expansion in the state is important for reducing tobacco use because it provides low-cost access to quit smoking medications and services for a population, Medicaid enrollees, that smoke at significantly higher rates.

The Lung Association also supported providing $14.6 million in funding for Arkansas’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, which was passed in House Bill 1080. However, a portion was required to be used for purposes other than the tobacco control program this year leaving only $11 million total for tobacco prevention and reduction activities. This program is charged with developing and implementing a statewide comprehensive tobacco education, prevention, and cessation program.

The Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (ARTPCP) supports initiatives like Project Prevent Youth Coalition, consisting of students all over the state who choose to live their lives tobacco and nicotine free, and encourage others to do the same. Be Well Arkansas (the state’s tobacco Quitline); the Coral’s Reef tobacco youth education program; and Be Well Baby are also provided by the ARTPCP. During the 2024 fiscal session of the legislature, the Lung Association will work to ensure funding for Medicaid expansion and Arkansas’ Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program are included in the state’s constitutionally required balanced budget.

The Lung Association and its partner health organizations will continue to lay the groundwork for a campaign to repeal the state law that prohibits local governments from passing tobacco control ordinances in their communities. Alongside this effort, the Lung Association will engage community partners to support local tobacco policies that are not preempted by state law. This is priority work and an ongoing campaign to give Arkansas cities and counties the option to adopt meaningful tobacco control measures to protect the health of their residents. As the legislature begins its work in 2024, the Lung Association will continue its efforts to educate policymakers, business leaders and media on the importance of the American Lung Association’s goals to reduce all tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, and to protect public health.

Arkansas Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $1,215,082,968
Adult Smoking Rate: 18.70%
High School Smoking Rate: 4.90%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 20.00%
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 5,790
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A current middle school smoking rate is not available for this state.

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 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Arkansas Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

State Grades Report Laws & Policies Historical Data