Tobacco use in Wisconsin 2021
Cigarette use: Wisconsin
Cigarette smoking rates in Wisconsin
- In 2020, 15.5% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 5.7% of high school students in Wisconsin smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: Wisconsin
Vaping rates in Wisconsin
- In 2018, 4.8% of adults in Wisconsin used e-cigarettes.
- In 2020, 3.8% of adults in Wisconsin used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 20.6% of high school students in Wisconsin used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 3.3% of high school students in Wisconsin 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, 4.7% of high school students in Wisconsin 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
Wisconsin cigarette tax
- Wisconsin received $741.1 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $5.3 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2021, 9.2% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
- Smoking-caused health care costs: $2.66 billion per year.4
- Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $2.06 billion per year.5
Wisconsin tobacco laws
Wisconsin smoking laws
- Wisconsin is ranked 16th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $2.52 per pack (enacted September 2009), 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
- Moist snuff is taxed at 100% of the manufacturer’s list price.
- Cigars are taxed at 71% of the manufacturer’s list price, not exceeding 50 cents per cigar.
- All other tobacco products are taxed at 71% of the manufacturer’s list price.6,7
Clean indoor air ordinances
Smoking is prohibited in government workplaces, private workplaces, schools (except those areas not used for instructional purposes and are inaccessible to students), childcare facilities, restaurants, bars (allowed in existing tobacco bars), casinos/gaming establishments (tribal establishments exempt), retail stores, recreational/cultural facilities, and state-owned vehicles.6,7,9
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- A license is not 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 persons are prohibited.6
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying and possessing alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.6
- The sale or distribution of nicotine products to underage persons is prohibited. 9
- Sampling of nicotine products is restricted to places inaccessible to underage persons (without a parent or guardian). 9
Local tobacco laws
- Milwaukee prohibits the use of smokeless tobacco at Miller Park and other sports venues in the city.10
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in Wisconsin
- The CDC estimates 46.9% of daily adult smokers in Wisconsin quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
- Wisconsin’s state quit line invests 28 cents per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.28.7
- Wisconsin does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.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. Knock Tobacco Out of the Park. https://tobaccofreebaseball.org/. Accessed.