Smoking Rates Decline in Nebraska

News Release
For Immediate Release: 5/15/2019

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9356  

Tobacco Cessation Helps People Live Better and Healthier Lives 


Lincoln, Neb. – After three years of a nearly stagnant adult smoking rate, Nebraska made significant progress when the smoking rate dropped from 17.3 percent in 2014 to 15.4 percent in 2017 according to the most recent data.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease," said Amanda Mortensen, Program Manager of Tobacco Free Nebraska for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “The decreases in the smoking rate are the result of hard work from decision makers, health care providers, community coalitions, and many other partners."

Some recent examples of social norm changes made to help decrease tobacco use in Nebraska include:

  • Communities implementing tobacco-free park policies.
  • The implementation of smoke-free policies in public housing statewide.
  • Tobacco-free campus policies adopted at universities and colleges.  

“With 223,000 adult smokers in Nebraska, there is still a lot of work to be done. The good news is, a combination of smoke-free policies, access to tobacco cessation, increasing the price of tobacco, and hard-hitting media campaigns are proven to reduce tobacco use and the related health effects," said Mortensen.

Tobacco Free Nebraska offers the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline as a free and confidential resource for Nebraskans who are ready to quit. The Quitline is currently offering a free two-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy to all qualified callers. Counseling and medication are both effective for treating nicotine dependence, but using them together has been shown to increase the success rate.

For help quitting, the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), and for Spanish services at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-355-3569). Translation services are also available in more than 170 languages. For additional resources and to learn more about the free NRT promotion visit

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