Tobacco Use

With the help of our community partners, the Northwest Arkansas Tobacco-Free Coalition (NWATFC) is working to reduce the tobacco burden in Arkansas. The NWATFC serves Benton County and Washington County residents by:

  • Eliminating the exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Reducing tobacco advertising that targets our youth
  • Reducing youth access to tobacco products
  • Addressing tobacco-related health disparities
  • Linking people to local tobacco cessation programs

Toll of Tobacco Use in Arkansas

  • High school students who smoke:  19.1% (29,900)
  • Non-smoking Arkansans who die from secondhand smoke every year: 510 
  • Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year: 2,600
  • Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year: 6.1 million
  • Adults in Arkansas who smoke: 25.9% (585,100)

Deaths in Arkansas from Smoking

  • Adults who die each year from their own smoking: 5,800
  • Kids now under 18 and alive in Arkansas who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking: 69,000 

Smoking-Caused Economic Costs in Arkansas

  • Annual health care costs in Arkansas directly caused by smoking: $1.21 billion
  • Portion covered by the state Medicaid program: $293.1 million
  • Residents’ state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures: $1,060 per household 
  • Smoking-caused productivity losses in Arkansas: $1.7 billion

Electronic Cigarettes

The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing this Public Health Advisory to consumers and is advising caution when considering e-cigarette, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), and vaping devices.


  • These devices contain and emit harmful chemicals, are currently unregulated, and pose known and unknown health risks to users and non-users alike.
  • E-cigarettes/vapor products contain chemicals, including nicotine. Nicotine is toxic and highly addictive and affects the nervous system and heart. It can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, ingestion and skin contact.
  • E-cigarettes/vapor products are not emission free and their pollutants could be a health concern for users and secondhand smokers. These products should not be used indoors or in cars.
  • Secondhand vapor contains chemicals that can be inhaled by non-users. Bystanders can inhale nicotine, propylene glycol and tobacco-related contaminants, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein.
  • Current scientific information about the effects of using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) is inadequate to assure the public that they are safe.
  • Electronic cigarettes and similar electronic nicotine delivery devices have not been tested adequately as tobacco cessation devices.
  • Excessive exposure to nicotine can result in poisoning, particularly in young children and pets. Liquid contained or used in e-cigarettes or vapor devices should not be accessible to children.



Our coalition is a community-based grant program made available through the Arkansas Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) and the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office (MISRGO) under the direction of the Arkansas Department of Health. The foundation of our work is based on the Center for Disease Control’s Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.