Did your state make the grade?

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

  1. Maintain funding for state tobacco control programs;
  2. Include e-cigarettes in the Smokefree Illinois Act to prevent their usage in public places and workplaces; and
  3. Ensure tax parity between other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigarettes.

Governor JB Pritzker signed several impactful bills into law that will benefit tobacco use and prevention efforts throughout the state. Illinois' FY2022 budget provides $4.1 million for the Illinois Tobacco Quitline, $5 million for local health department tobacco prevention programs and $1 million to general tobacco use prevention. These funds are critical to supporting tobacco users who want to quit and educating the public about the harms of tobacco use.

The 102nd Illinois General Assembly also passed Senate Bill 2294 which will require Illinois' medical assistance program (Medicaid) to cover individual, group and phone tobacco cessation counseling. This measure will ensure that low-income Illinoisans have the same access to comprehensive tobacco cessation services as individuals with private insurance.

Championed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, The Preventing Youth Vaping Act will require all e-cigarette packaging to clearly contain all federally mandated warnings, statements, and labels, as well as comply with federal trademark and copyright laws, restrict advertising that includes assertions that e-cigarettes are smoking cessation products or modified risk tobacco products unless allowed to by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and gives criminal and civil enforcement authority to the Illinois Attorney General.

Finally, House Bill 3202 will require e-cigarettes and e-cigarette products to be included in K-12 health education programs. This legislation will help ensure that youth are aware of the harms of e-cigarette use at an early age.

In April, the Stanford Prevention Research Center, Advancing Science & Practice in the Retail Environment (ASPiRE) released research showing that in 2019, total tobacco sales (cigarettes, vaping products, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and loose/pipe tobacco) in Chicago equaled $91.1 million or $251,000 per day. Cigarettes composed 76% of tobacco dollar sales, and in one year, stores sold approximately 2,826 vaping pods per day, totaling $7.8 million. This evidence-based study provides key insight into the tobacco retail environment in Chicago.

In August, the Illinois Tobacco Quitline launched the My Life, My Quit program, a free and confidential service developed by National Jewish Health, the nation's number one respiratory hospital. The program is for youth who want help quitting all forms of tobacco including e-cigarettes. The program's tobacco cessation coaches have completed extensive training on adolescent cognitive and psychosocial development.

The American Lung Association will continue to engage both traditional and non-traditional partners to make the case to lawmakers to pass common sense tobacco control policy. Given the stark disparities that exist in tobacco use, the Lung Association will evolve our efforts to be specifically tailored to address communities that are the most underserved.
Illinois Facts
Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $5,495,627,110
Adult Smoking Rate: 12.7%
High School Smoking Rate: 4.7%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 22.7%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 2.0%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 18,280

Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use rates are taken from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking rate is taken from the 2015 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 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.

Illinois Information

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

State Grades Report Laws & Policies