Tobacco Overview


States regulate various aspects of tobacco sales and use.  From licensing retailers to funding cessation programs, states are active in controlling the use of tobacco and working to reduce the known negative health outcomes from tobacco use on the general public and smokers alike.  Resources and links below provide information on the various categories of legislation.

Tobacco: Overview Resources

Current NCSL webpages and resources

Current NCSL Print Publications - four useful overview reports; also available to members for web download.

State Tobacco Cessation Programs - a compilation of resources specific to quitting tobacco use. 

State Cigarette Excise Tax Information -update coming summer 2019.


Older/Archived NCSL webpages and resources

Obstructive Pulmonary Disease- An NCSL LegisBrief on Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, February 2012

Curbing the Costs of Tobacco Use- A 2002 NCSL document describing the direct and indirect costs of tobacco use and how states can reduce the health and economic burden of tobacco use.

Outside resources*

*NOTE: NCSL provides links to other Web sites from time to time for information purposes only. Providing these links does not necessarily indicate NCSL's support or endorsement of the site.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

2014 Surgeon General's Report- The Health Consequences of Smoking- 50 Years of Progress
2012 Surgeon General's Report- Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults

CDC MMWR Weekly, August 3, 2012: Consumption of Cigarettes and Combustible Tobacco — United States, 2000–2011

Smoking & Tobacco Home Page
Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs- 2007
Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
Smoking & Tobacco Use FAQs

American Academy of Pediatrics

Public Policy to Protect Children From Tobacco, Nicotine, and Tobacco Smoke Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

American Cancer Society

Tobacco & Cancer
Smoke Free Communities

American Lung Association

State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues database (SLATI)
State of Tobacco Control Report- 2014 New item Features ALA's state grades, federal grades, and trend reports.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win-Win for Cash-Strapped States, Feb. 2010
History of State Spending for Tobacco Control FY 2000-2010

Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes

Legislative Updates

Philip Morris USA/Altria

Legislative Issues

Public Health Law & Policy/Tobacco Control Legal Consortium

Regulating Tobacco Marketing

Reynolds American

Responsible Marketing and Master Settlement Agreement (MSA)

The Smokers Club Inc./Smokers Rights Group


Other Tobacco-Interested Policy Groups & Organizations*

American Cancer Society
American Legacy Foundation
American Lung Association
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
Tobacco Law Center

*NOTE: NCSL provides links to other Web sites from time to time for information purposes only. Providing these links does not necessarily indicate NCSL's support or endorsement of the site.

NCSL Publications

State Funding for Community Health Centers (a LegisBrief)
Community health centers provide affordable, high-quality primary and preventive care services to low-income and medically underserved adults and children. States support these centers with tobacco settlement funds, assessments, grants and general fund money.  Published: 2007

State Roles In Tobacco Policy: A Snapshot for State Legislature  Product Image(a 24 page booklet)
In their role as guardians of the public's health, states play a significant role in determining state tobacco policies, including youth access issues, restricting environmental tobacco smoke, and supporting cessation programs. States also can explore the consequences of levying excise taxes and determining how the revenues will be used.  Published: 2005

State Tobacco Tax Trends (a LegisBrief)
Cigarettes and other tobacco products have been recent targets for excise tax increases. More than half the states have raised rates over the past two years. Tax increases often have the dual purpose of raising revenue and discouraging tobacco use.  Published: 200

NCSL Resources