How does your state compare?

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. Increase funding for state tobacco control programs;
  2. Allocate all Juul settlement funds to tobacco prevention; and
  3. Ensure tax parity between other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigarettes.
In the 15th year of the landmark Smoke-Free Illinois Act (SFIA), on May 10, 2023, the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor J.B. Pritzker later signed into law, House Bill 1540 which adds electronic cigarettes to the SFIA, prohibiting their use in virtually all indoor public places. This new law, which took effect January 1, 2024, comes on the heels of nearly 30 municipalities passing their own measures to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor public places. Additionally, thanks to a settlement reached by Attorney General Kwame Raoul in April 2022 that brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the state, the General Assembly increased funding for the Illinois Tobacco Quitline by $1 million in the fiscal year 2024 budget. Locally, Evanston became the first city in Illinois to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars; the new law will take effect on April 1. The Cook County Board of Commissioners also passed an ordinance in 2023 ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in unincorporated Cook County. The Lung Association and partners advocated for a comprehensive ordinance to be passed that included all flavored tobacco products. On January 18, 2023, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance that puts strong restrictions on tobacco retailers, including creating a new city license for e-cigarette retailers, placing strict limitations on where they can be located and increasing fines for selling tobacco products to underage individuals.

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline (ITQL) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TCP) collaborated, along with the public health communication company and IDPH contractor Rescue Agency, in researching and developing a target awareness and ITQL promotion campaign to reach menthol tobacco users in 2024. The proportion of people who smoke and use menthol cigarettes has increased as overall cigarette smoking has decreased, particularly among population groups that experience tobacco-related disparities. The tobacco industry aggressively targets its marketing to certain populations, especially Black people, Latinos, young adults, and LGBTQ+ adults. These groups are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes compared to other population groups. The IDPH TCP funded and oversaw 34 local health departments (LHDs) engaging with local schools and school districts, students, parent groups, and local coalitions to strengthen and implement existing school tobacco and e-cigarette use policies. Youth and young adult-focused media campaigns are run in jurisdictions where LHDs are educating about strengthening school policies and youth tobacco/e-cigarette prevention curricula are provided in schools. All youth-focused media includes promotion of My Life, My Quit, Illinois youth tobacco/e-cigarette cessation resource.

Illinois has made great progress in reducing the tobacco burden and needs to continue its commitment by increasing state funding for tobacco prevention and control. Additional funding is available through Master Settlement Agreement and Juul settlement dollars that have and will be given to the state mainly to reduce and prevent tobacco use, especially among youth. It is crucial that Illinois use these funds for their intended purpose so we can prevent tobacco addiction in future generations.

Illinois Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $5,495,627,110
Adult Smoking Rate: 12.40%
High School Smoking Rate: 2.50%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 17.10%
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 18,280
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use rates are taken 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.

Illinois Information

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

State Grades Report Laws & Policies Historical Data