Diseases and Death
Tobacco use leads to disease and disability.
- Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction), and diabetes.1
- For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.1
- More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.1
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.
- Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.2
- Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.1 This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.1
- On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.3
- If smoking persists at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are projected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.1
Costs and Expenditures
The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on cigarette advertising and promotions.4
- $8.4 billion total spent in 2011
- Almost $23 million spent every day in 2011
Tobacco use costs the United States billions of dollars each year, including:1
- 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
- $5.6 billion a year (2006 data) in lost productivity from exposure to secondhand smoke
State spending on tobacco prevention and control does not meet CDC-recommended levels.1,5,6
- Collectively, states have billions of dollars available to them—from tobacco excise taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements—for preventing and controlling tobacco use. States currently use a very small percentage of these funds for tobacco control programs.
- In fiscal year 2014, states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements, but states will spend only 1.9% of the $25.7 billion on prevention and cessation programs.
- No states currently fund tobacco control programs at CDC's "recommended" level. Only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) fund tobacco control programs at the "minimum" level.
- Investing less than 15% (i.e., $3.3 billion) of the $25.7 billion would fund every state tobacco control program at CDC-recommended levels.
Cigarette Smoking in the United States
Percentage of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who were current cigarette smokers in 2012:7
- 18.1% of all adults (42.1 million people): 20.1% of males, 14.5% of females
- 21.8% of non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives
- 19.7% of non-Hispanic Whites
- 18.1% of non-Hispanic Blacks
- 12.5% of Hispanics
- 10.7% of non-Hispanic Asians (excluding Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders)
- 26.1% of multiple race individuals
- Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day or some days.
Thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day1
- Each day, more than 3,200 persons younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
- Each day, an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.
Many adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking.
- In 2011:1
- 68.9% of adult smokers wanted to stop smoking
- 42.7% had made a quit attempt in the past year
- See CDC's Smoking Cessation fact sheet for more information.
- "Made a quit attempt" refers to smokers who reported that they stopped smoking for more than 1 day in the past 12 months because they were trying to quit smoking.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, Rostron B, Thun M, Anderson RN, McAfee T, Peto R. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2011. [PDF–325 KB] Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2013 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs–2014. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 15 Years Later. Washington: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 2013 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;63(02):29–34 [accessed 2014 Apr 24].
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.
- Page last reviewed: November 20, 2014
- Page last updated: April 24, 2014
- Content source: