Tobacco

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Georgia each year, costing the state more than 11,500 lives per year and nearly $5 billion dollars in direct healthcare and indirect costs, such as lost wages. The Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program (GTUPP) in the Georgia Department of Public Health has the singular mission of eliminating tobacco use and tobacco-related disparities in Georgia.

Over the last 15 years, adult tobacco use has been declining, with a recent increase in the rate of decline. However, alternative tobacco use rates have increased, particularly among youth; low income, white, rural males continue to use tobacco at higher rates than the national average; the Medicaid population continues to be two to three times as likely to use tobacco than the general population; young adults ages 18-24 continue to smoke at the highest rates of any age group; and, smokeless tobacco and smoking among pregnant women remains a significant problem in Georgia.

What you can do to reduce the negative impact of tobacco use?

  • Never start tobacco use
  • Make an attempt to quit tobacco use
  • Eliminate exposure of any kind to secondhand smoke in public places, your home and car
  • Educate others on the dangers of tobacco use of any kind

What businesses can do to reduce the negative impact of tobacco use?

  • Stop selling tobacco
  • Create tobacco-free environments for all employees and customers
  • Join the Georgia Tobacco Quitline partnership or provide other coverage to their employees to help them quit smoking
  • Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace by enforcing the Georgia Smoke-free Air Act of 2005
  • Eliminate the illegal sale of tobacco to minors by checking IDs for all persons up to age 26

What healthcare providers/doctors can do to reduce the negative impact of tobacco use?

  • Quit smoking or use of e-cigarettes or other tobacco products yourself
  • Treat tobacco use as a vital sign, asking all patients about tobacco use and referring to the Quit Line
  • Educate patients on the dangers of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Talk with parents and families about the dangers of e-cigarette use
  • Promote the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line to all patients and employees

Additional Resources

Burden of Tobacco Use in Georgia: Surveillance Update (presentation)

Georgia Tobacco Control Strategic Plan: 2015-2020

Tobacco Use Reports, Data Summaries, and Questionnaires

Page last reviewed 02/2020