In Alaska, 21.5% of the adult population (aged 18+ years)—over 109,000 individuals—are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. Alaska ranks 41st among the states.
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Among youth aged 12–17 years, 9.7% smoke in Alaska. The range across all states is 6.5% to 15.9%. Alaska ranks 14th among the states.
Among adults aged 35+ years, over 500 died as a result of tobacco use per year, on average, during 2000–2004. This represents a smoking-attributable mortality rate of 270.4 per 100,000. Alaska's smoking-attributable mortality rate ranks 29th among the states.
Alaska does not have a statewide smoke-free law that provides adequate protection against exposure to secondhand smoke in public places.
Among adults who work indoors, the percentage who reported anyone smoking in their work area within the preceding 2 weeks has remained higher in Alaska than in the nation overall. Currently, Alaska ranks 35th among the states for workplace exposure, at 8.5%.
Best Practices estimates 8% of smokers could access quitlines each year. In Alaska, 3.1% of current smokers who made a quit attempt in the past year called a quitline.
The Medicaid fee-for-service program in Alaska provides only partial coverage for tobacco dependence treatment. Alaska's Medicaid policy provides coverage for both bupropion and varenicline. Alaska's Medicaid policy provides coverage for individual counseling, but not group or telephone counseling.
Smoke-free home rules represent awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke. In Alaska, as in the nation, an increasing number of families have such a rule.
Currently, 79.5% of Alaska homes have this rule. Alaska ranks 16th among the states.
Rating point data were available for 42 states and the District of Columbia. Best Practices recommendations translate into an average of 800 targeted rating points (TRPs) in effective youth and 1,200 gross rating points (GRPs) in effective general audience anti-tobacco media campaigns per quarter. Alaska has no reported data.
Alaska allows local regulation of tobacco industry promotions, sampling, and display of tobacco products in commercial establishments.
Alaska requires all establishments selling tobacco products over the counter and by vending machine to be licensed. Currently, 38 states require licensure for both over-the-counter and vending machine sales.
Alaska maintains a $2.00 per pack tax and ranks 11th among the states.
Alaska has a minimum price law. Wholesalers must mark up cigarettes by 4.5% and retailers must mark up cigarettes by at least 6%. This law has the effect of limiting the amount of discounting that can be offered through coupons and other types of sales promotions.
Approximately 13% of the annual revenue generated from state excise taxes and settlement payments would fund Alaska's tobacco control program at the Best Practices recommended amount. However, in 2007, Alaska's funding for tobacco control was 70.7% of the recommended level. Alaska ranks 4th among the states.
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