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)
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 $289 billion a year, including at least $133 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 Amanda. Amanda, age 30, lives in Wisconsin and began smoking in fifth grade. She smoked during pregnancy, and her baby was born 2 months early. Her tiny girl spent weeks in an incubator.
Meet Rose. Rose, age 59, lives in Texas and began smoking at age 13. She's had surgery twice for cancer. "I regret picking up smoking in the first place," she said.
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.
Medicare currently covers quit-smoking treatments. The benefit covers two tobacco cessation attempts per year and up to four face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt.
Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act expand private health insurance and Medicaid coverage of proven quit-smoking treatments.
- Page last reviewed: January 28, 2015
- Page last updated: January 28, 2015
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