What are Tobacco Disparities?


Tobacco use affects all users negatively. Unfortunately, there are some groups of people in the United States who smoke at particularly high rates and suffer the greatest negative health effects from smoking.

According to the CDC, 14% of adults overall smoked in 2019.

In contrast, smoking rates were especially high among:

Behavioral Health Patients

People with severe mental illness smoke at high rates (33.0%)

People with Less Income

Adults with an annual household income less than $35,000 (21.4%)


For example, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Natives (20.9%)


Veterans smoke at higher rates (21.6%) than the adult civilian population

Those with Less Education

Those for whom the highest education level is a GED (35.3%)

Medicaid Members

Medicaid recipients and uninsured individuals (30%)

HUD Residents

One-third of people living in HUD housing were current smokers (33.6%)


20.5% of LGB adults smoke cigarettes (20.5%), vs. 14% of all adults


21% of Wisconsin high schoolers vape, and 30% of those vapers also smoke

For more information on tobacco disparities, visit the websites of the CDC or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.