All Groups (General Public)
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
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.
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 in 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 Mark. Mark, age 47, lives in California and started smoking as a teenager. He continued smoking during military service in the Persian Gulf and in civilian life until he developed rectal cancer at age 42.
Meet Marlene. Marlene lives in New York and began smoking in high school. At 56, she started losing her vision. She needs shots in one or both eyes every month to avoid going blind.
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 lower 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.
- Page last reviewed: January 28, 2015
- Page last updated: January 28, 2015
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