Tobacco use in Georgia 2021
Cigarette use: Georgia*
Cigarette smoking rates in Georgia
- In 2020, 15.8% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 4.0% of high school students in Georgia smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Georgia
Vaping rates in Georgia
- In 2018, 5.3% of adults in Georgia used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2020, 3.7% of adults in Georgia used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 17.0% of high school students in Georgia used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 5.3% of high school students in Georgia used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 3.8%.2
- In 2019, 5.4% of high school students in Georgia smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 5.7%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
Georgia cigarette tax
- Georgia received $395.4 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $750,000 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2020, just 0.7% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-related health care costs: $3.18 billion per year.4
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $3.99 billion per year.5
Georgia tobacco laws
Georgia smoking laws
- Georgia is ranked 50th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 37 cents per pack (enacted July 2003), compared to the national average of $1.91. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.) 6-8
- Loose or smokeless tobacco is taxed at 10% of the wholesale cost price. Little cigars are taxed at 5 cents per pack of 20 cigars. All other cigars are taxed at 23% of the manufacturer’s list price.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, schools, childcare facilities and recreational/cultural facilities.7
- Smoking restrictions are required in private workplaces, restaurants, bars and retail stores.7
- The use of e-cigarettes is prohibited by food service employees at work, except in designated areas.9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell cigarettes, cigars, loose and/or smokeless tobacco. Retailers and wholesalers are not required to obtain a license to sell other tobacco products.6
- A license is required to sell e-cigarette products.9
Youth access laws
- Effective December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21. Some states have not yet raised their state minimum age of sale, however, the federal law takes precedence.
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to underage consumers are prohibited.6,7
- The sale of alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, to underage persons is prohibited, and all sales are restricted to locations not readily accessible to underage persons (except for machines under the direct supervision of an employee or located at highway rest areas).6,7, 9
- The distribution of free vapor products on public property, within 500 feet of a playground or school, or to underage persons, is prohibited. 9
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying, possessing, and receiving vapor products, including e-cigarettes. 9
- Sales of vapor products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone other than a licensed manufacturer, importer, distributor, or dealer of vapor products must be made in-person, and delivery sales must be made by someone at least 21 years old after a background check, to a recipient, face-to-face, who is also at least 21 years old. 9
Local tobacco laws
- Watkinsville prohibits the sale of flavored vaping products. Mint and menthol flavored vaping products are exempt.10
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Georgia
- The CDC estimates 56.8% of daily adult smokers in Georgia quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required all Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.7**
- Georgia’s quit line invests $0.97per smoker; compared to the national average of $2.28.7
- Georgia does not have a private insurance mandate for quitting tobacco.7
Notes and references
Updated August 2021
* National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.
** The seven recommended cessation medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban).
Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.
1. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020.
2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System, 2019.
3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2021.
4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 22 Years Later FY2021, 2020.
5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States.
6. American Lung Association, State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI).
7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2021.
8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf. Accessed.
9. Public Health Law Center. U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation: 50-State Review. http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/resources/us-e-cigarette-regulations-50-state-review. Accessed.
10. Truth Initiative, Local restrictions on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/local-restrictions-flavored-tobacco-and-e-cigarette.