Tobacco use is a learned and socially mediated behavior. Our goal is to change the social norms around tobacco use by:

  • Preventing the initiation of tobacco use among youth
  • Preventing the use of tobacco among pregnant women
  • Reducing the exposure of secondhand smoke
  • Promoting tobacco cessation
  • Reducing disparities in tobacco use

The Toll of Tobacco

  • 27.9% of high school students use at least one tobacco product.
  • Youth experimentation with e-cigarettes has increased 22% since 2015.
  • Half of high school students have tried e-cigarettes and nearly 1 in 4 youth are current users.
  • Among youth who currently used e-cigarettes, 31% were also current smokers.
  • 19.9% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2019.


  • 32.9% of cancer deaths in Tennessee attributed to smoking.
  • 11,400 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year.
  • 125,000 youth currently under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.


The economic and societal costs of smoking-related issues are staggering. Tennessee spends $2.67 billion annually in health care costs (this does not include exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, cigars, or electronic nicotine delivery systems). $823.6 million of these costs are covered by TennCare. $3.59 billion is attributed to smoking-caused productivity losses in Tennessee. 

Beginning October 1, 2007, Tennesseans were able to breathe smoke free at numerous restaurants, hotels, and many other establishments as a result of the Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act. On June 11, 2007, Governor Phil Bredesen signed the Act into law, which makes it illegal to smoke in most places where people work. If you have any questions about complying with the Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act call 1-800-293-8228.

Information for Employers: