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

  1. Maintain and/or increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs; and
  2. Oppose all forms of preemption of local tobacco control authority.
The 2023 Legislative Session was an active one regarding tobacco control and prevention policies. The significant success of the session for tobacco control advocates was the passage of Legislative Bill 539 which directed funds from the Juul Settlement with the state of Nebraska to tobacco control and prevention activities directed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The bill, which directed $1.08 million to the Nebraska Tobacco Control and Prevention program was amended into an appropriations bill and passed the Legislature.

Legislative Bill 745 proposed an increase of $1.50 to the state’s cigarette tax. Currently, the cigarette tax in Nebraska is $.64 per pack and hasn’t increased in over two decades. LB 745 received a hearing but did not move out of Committee. A tax on e-cigarettes of $.05 per milliliter did pass in the 2023 session. The Lung Association opposed this tax as it was not equalized to the rate of tax on other tobacco products and will result in most e-cigarettes having just a few pennies added to their price, which will have no effect on kids buying them.

The Legislature voted to extend postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients in 2023. Legislative Bill 419 extends postpartum coverage for Medicaid recipients from 60 days to 12 months. This coverage extension included coverage for tobacco cessation counseling and medications for pregnant women providing coverage for an estimated 3,000 additional women in the state.

The 2024 session is a short session - 60 days versus 90 days in an odd number year – and the American Lung Association in Nebraska and coalition partners will continue to promote increased funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs and lay groundwork and cultivate tobacco control and prevention champions in the Legislature in the 2025 session.

Nebraska Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $795,185,324
Adult Smoking Rate: 13.00%
High School Smoking Rate: 2.70%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 14.90%
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 2,510
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2022 Nebraska Youth Tobacco Survey. 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.

Nebraska Information

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

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