Nebraska Tobacco Facts Sheet

NE Smoking PopulationCigarette use: Nebraska*

  • In 2016, 17.0 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 7.4 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8 percent.²
  • In 2022, 13.9% of Nebraska adults smoked, and 3.6% of Nebraskans under 18 smoked.17, 2

Other tobacco product use: Nebraska

  • In 2015, 3.2 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 2.5 percent used smokeless tobacco and 2.2 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 9.4 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 5.3 percent used smokeless tobacco and 6.7 percent smoked cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rates were 13.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively.²
  • In a survey conducted in 2019, 24.6% of Nebraska youth said they have used tobacco in the last 30 days.11
  • E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product. 37.1% of Nebraska youth have tried them, and 22.6% currently use it.11


Smoking State-Wide

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • Nebraska received $103.5 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.⁴
  • Of this, the state allocated $2.6 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, just 12.4 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.⁴
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $924 million per year10
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $651.9 million per year10
  • Every year, Nebraska spends $820 per household for smoking-related healthcare expenses and lost productivity.10

Nebraska tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

  • Nebraska is ranked 42nd in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 64 cents per pack enacted October 2002), compared to the national average of $1.73. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
  • Moist snuff is taxed at 44 cents per ounce. All other tobacco products are taxed at 20 percent of the purchase price.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government workplaces, private workplaces, schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars (except cigar shops), casinos/gaming establishments, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.⁶

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in Nebraska is 18.⁷
  • Minors are prohibited from buying e-cigarettes.⁶
  • The sale of tobacco products through self-service displays is prohibited.⁶



Health effects of tobacco

Smoking-related fires

  • There were 241 smoking-related fires in Nebraska in 2019, and 34% of the fires were in multi-family dwellings.12

Smoking-related illnesses

  • 75,000 Nebraskans suffered from smoking-attributable illnesses in 2022.13
  • More than 87,728 Nebraska children ages 3-11 are exposed to secondhand smoke in the home, which can cause an increased risk of SIDS, ear infections, asthma attacks, and respiratory infections.14,15

Smoking-related deaths

  • 2,500 deaths were attributed to smoking in 2022.10
  • About 242 Nebraska deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke.16


Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates that 47.1 percent of daily adult smokers in Nebraska quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.⁹
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.⁷**
  • Nebraska’s state quit line invests $1.35 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.10.⁷
  • Nebraska does not have a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.⁷

Notes and references

Updated June 2018

* 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, 2016.
  2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2021.
  3. CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Adults – United States, 2014-2015, MMWR.
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later FY2018, 2017.
  5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, 2018.
  6. American Lung Association, SLATI State Reports, 2017.
  7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2018.
  8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings, 2018.
  9. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.
  10. Tobacco Free Kids – The Toll of Tobacco in Nebraska, Updated October 19, 2022.
  11. Tobacco Free Nebraska. Nebraska Youth Tobacco Survey, 2019.
  12. Going Smoke Free in Your Home. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, 2019. 
  13. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Diseases and Death, Updated July 29, 2022. 
  14. Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke – United States, 199902012. Weekly February 6, 2015/64(04);103-108
  15. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
  16. Department of Homeland Security, National Fire Incident Reporting System. Reports created and site accessed on 12/3/2019.
  17. Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2020.

Click here to download the Going Smoke Free in Your Home infographic. 
Click here to download the Youth Tobacco Use in Nebraska infographic. 
Click here to download the What’s Tobacco Costing Nebraska? infographic. 

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