All Groups (General Public)
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease and kills more than 480,000 Americans each year. More than 41,000 of these deaths are the result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term illnesses, including—
- Heart disease
- Asthma attacks
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (a condition that makes it harder and harder to breathe)
- Vision Loss
- Buerger's Disease
- Gum Disease
For women, smoking during pregnancy can cause serious problems. Your baby could be born too early, have a birth defect, or die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
For every smoking-related death, at least 30 people live with a smoking-related illness.
Cigarette smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.
For More Information
- Detailed Statistics Learn about smoking among specific populations and the current rates of cigarette smoking in the United States.
Learn the real stories of people who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
Meet Brian. Brian, age 60, lives in Texas. An Air Force veteran, Brian had his first heart attack at age 35 while on assignment in England. He quit smoking in 2009 and received a heart transplant in July 2012.
Meet Becky. Becky, age 54, lives in Ohio and started smoking as a teenager. She continued to smoke until she quit for good at age 52.
Learn more about all Tips participants in our Real Stories section.
You can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support.
Quit-smoking treatments may be free or reduced in price through insurance, health plans, or clinics. State Medicaid programs cover quit-smoking treatments. While the coverage varies by state, all states cover some treatments for at least some Medicaid enrollees.
Medicare currently covers two quit attempts per year and up to four face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt.
Rico, age 48, started smoking at age 14. He was diagnosed with cancer at age 45 and was determined to quit so that he could enjoy a healthy life with his family. Since quitting smoking for good, Rico is a cancer survivor who feels passionate about sharing his story to help other smokers quit. Rico feels blessed to be alive to spend time with his family and watch his children finish college. Rico believes that it’s never too late to quit smoking.
“As a former smoker, I know how hard it is to quit. Addiction is a very difficult battle to win, but it can be done!”
- Page last reviewed: October 29, 2015
- Page last updated: October 29, 2015
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