Smoker pic

Despite expensive public health campaigns, multiple fines and penalties and myriad restrictions on where Alaskans can even use tobacco products, the number of residents who occasionally light up, chew or vape has remained steady over the past decade or so.

After gleaning data from youth surveys, telephone interviews and local resources around Alaska, the state’s latest tobacco report shows that roughly 26% of residents partook in some sort of tobacco or nicotine product in 2020. That’s virtually unchanged from the 25% who reported consuming these products in 2014.

Traditional cigarettes remained the most common (19%), followed by smokeless tobacco (7%) and e-cigarettes (6%). Many Alaskans enjoyed multiple tobacco products, with half or more using them daily.

Notwithstanding the steady number of tobacco consumers, the state continues to ascribe to the CDC’s mantra that reducing tobacco is a “winnable battle” in public health.

As such, the state follows the CDC’s multi-pronged strategy of employing community interventions, state-run health campaigns, marketing strategies, cessation interventions, government grants promoting tobacco-free policies, widespread surveillance and evaluation of tobacco users and penalties, the state report notes.

When broken down into types of tobacco use, smoking among adults (ages 18 and older) declined from 26% in 1998 to 19% in 2020. Vaping dropped from 7% of adults in 2014 to 5% in 2020, while smokeless tobacco consumers rose from 5% of adults in 1998 to 7% in 2020.

Youth tobacco consumption rose from 32% in 2015 to 35% in 2019, with 26% saying they prefer vaping products. The percentage of youth cigarette users dropped from 16% in 2009 to 8% in 2019, while smokeless tobacco consumers rose from 10% in 2013 to 11% in 2019.

Alaska’s steady tobacco consumption comes despite the fact that most private homes ban smoking (91%), as do most workplaces (87%). In 2018, Alaska passed a law banning indoor workplace smoking or vaping.

According to the latest report, the state would like to see more bans, restrictions, penalties and fines with regard to tobacco consumption.

The report makes no mention of marijuana, of which the state and many local governments urge “responsible consumption,” including legal on-site usage at recreational pot shops.

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State campaigns and myriad penalties fail to dampen Alaskans’ penchant for tobacco

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Nicotine (not all the toxins in cigarettes) can play a part in healing long-haul covid symptoms and could protect against corona virus. Here are several links that I found today doing a quick search; but, I heard about nicotine back in 2020. Smokers were not getting “covid” in the numbers like others were.
    “Dr. Bryan Ardis tells Bob The Plumber: Early COVID treatment protocols are more effective with NICOTINE”

    “World-renowned neurobiologist says nicotine extract could protect against coronavirus”

    Here are a couple pages of interesting results from searching for “nicotine and ace 2 receptors on Natural News.

    • Lobo says:

      Interesting information.

      • Mayo says:

        Be more interesting if true. Check the sources.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Mayo, the problem is that the evil is purposely keeping the truth pushed down. When people do searches on search engines, the truth is not allowed to show – only the sources that support the narrative that is working to depopulate the world. People need to follow alternative doctors, listen to alternative media, and follow alternative journalists, such as Natural News and many others like the ones that I list, in order to find truth. Truth wins in the end Mayo – it always does.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Listening to Dr. Ardis show 2/15/23. At about the 15:30 minute mark, Dr. Ardis starts explaining how nicotine helps. Funny I ran across this since I had just posted yesterday about this.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Keep promoting the clot shot, please if the present leadership of the state would comply with there own promotions, I’m confident we’d all be better off!!!

  • Zip says:

    “According to the latest report, the state would like to see more bans, restrictions, penalties and fines with regard to tobacco consumption.”
    Of course they would. A Non mind altering and totally legal product, but you better stop or we will take more of your money and tell you what to do in your own private dwelling. Meanwhile, light up that joint or bong, you’re good to go…. “Of course”

    • Lobo says:

      Personally, I think the state needs to shut up, and it would be nice if they were seriously interested in protecting, and restoring the PFD to it’s proper payout… Keep their greedy hands off of it.. If I were to choose to use tobacco, that’s my business.

  • Lobo says:

    I smoked cigarettes for many years.. I quit back in 1975.. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do.. I had told myself many times that “I needed to quit”, but never really got serious enough to quit.. I watched my dad die of lung cancer, and he had been a long time smoker.. Finally, I said I “have to quit” .. With that decision. it became easier than I had ever believed it could be.. After two days of not lighting up, I felt better, and told myself that there is no going back.. For many, it’s not only the nicotine, but the hand to mouth routine as well.. Over the years, I came to believe that it’s not the same for everyone, and what worked for me, may not work for the other person. I would like to see others be able to put it down… Marijuana isn’t lung friendly either.

  • Bob Bird says:

    Frank Sinatra indulged as a chain smoker and lived to be 83. We all know about his endless smoking, drinking, philandering and late-night partying. He called booze “gasoline”. Dean Martin lived to age 78 and his lifestyle needs no explaining. On their TV shows, they would be smoking while they sang on the stage! My mother, who always told me she started smoking to relieve hunger pangs during food rationing in Italy during the war, smoked until 1984, and she lived another 21 years to be 86. But she had 45 years of cigarette smoking in her past. It was easy for me to give up pipe smoking. Lobo’s comment is likely the best one to note: “It’s not the same for everyone.” We can agree, however, that once we give up tobacco, being around it in an indoor space is annoying. It is amazing to think that it was commonplace in airplanes and indoor stadiums not too long ago! You had to see what a Blackhawk game looked like by the 3rd period in the 1960s: I don’t know how the goalies could see the puck! In the days before plexiglas, visiting players sometimes got a cigar butt in the ear, through the chain-link fencing, when they were checked. But the sanctimony of the gov’t never works, and they are turning a Blind Eye to marijuana, no doubt about that.

  • Dalton Stokes says:

    every life form on the planet is being systematically slow killed. the world economic forum and the United Nations tell us everyday what they’re going to do but for some reason you people will never report it. who cares about cigarette smoking while you have Satanists changing Humanity through geoengineering and Gene modification.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Dalton, I have to agree with you that cigarette smoking is the least of our worries at this point. It would be better if the government concentrated on doing the will of the people and protecting them instead of telling us what we can do and can’t do.

  • Lucinda says:

    What sort of geo engineering is changing humanity

    • Friend of Humanity says: and – go research for yourself.

      • Mayo says:

        These are not legitimate sources of information. You are being duped, Friend of Humanity. My suggestion: learn the scientific method and apply it rigorously.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Mayo, the sources I cited are legit. Only in a lefty troll’s mind are these not legitimate. I am praying for you to be able to see the light of truth. It is not too late for you to switch sides and believe in the good fight for humanity.

  • Old Soul says:

    I wish the pipe smoking photo would be replaced with another person smoking cigarettes or the childish vaping.
    Pipe smokers should be in an altogether different group. A pipe smoker doesn’t inhale, a pipe smoker doesn’t smoke the chemical enhanced tobacco that cigarettes have. All English style tobaccos are only flavored by the curing process. A tobacco pipe holds between 1-3 grams of tobacco and can last upwards to an hour of smoking, if one knows what they are doing. A single cig is 1 gram and countless are consumed daily.
    I’m not saying smoking a pipe is healthy, but neither is the fast food you eat multiple times a week, & the three (oops, I mean 1) glass of wine you have nightly.
    Looking back at the days when one would enjoy the process of packing, lighting, & enjoying a bowl in relative quiet.