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Tobacco-Related Mortality

Overview

  • Overall mortality among both male and female smokers in the United States is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked..1
  • The major causes of excess mortality among smokers are diseases that are related to smoking, including cancer and respiratory and vascular disease.1,2,3,4
  • Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of human cancer.5 In addition, the nicotine in smokeless tobacco may increase the risk for sudden death from a condition where the heart does not beat properly (ventricular arrhythmias); as a result, the heart pumps little or no blood to the body's organs.5

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.1,3

Cigarettes and Death

Cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year.1,6 Cigarette smoking is estimated to cause the following:1

  • More than 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
  • 278,544 deaths annually among men (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
  • 201,773 deaths annually among women (including deaths from secondhand smoke)

Cigarette use causes premature death:

  • Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.1,2
  • Quitting smoking before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%.2

Secondhand Smoke and Death

Exposure to secondhand smoke causes nearly 42,000 deaths each year among adults in the United States:1

  • Secondhand smoke causes 7,333 annual deaths from lung cancer.1
  • Secondhand smoke causes 33,951 annual deaths from heart disease.1

Increased Risk for Death Among Men

  • Men who smoke increase their risk of dying from bronchitis and emphysema by 17 times; from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus by more than 23 times.1
  • Smoking increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease among middle-aged men by almost four times.1

Increased Risk for Death Among Women

  • Women who smoke increase their risk of dying from bronchitis and emphysema by 12 times; from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus by more than 12 times.1
  • Between 1960 and 1990, deaths from lung cancer among women increased by more than 500%.7 In 1987, lung cancer surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. In 2000, 67,600 women died from lung cancer.8 During 2010–2014, almost 282,000 women (56,359 women each year) will die from lung cancer.1
  • Smoking increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease among middle-aged women by almost five times.1

Death from Specific Diseases

Tobacco use causes disease and death. Each year, smoking causes thousands of deaths from numerous diseases. The following table lists the estimated number of smokers aged 35 years and older who die each year from smoking-related diseases.1

 

Annual Cigarette Smoking-Related Mortality in the United States, 2005–2009
DiseaseMaleFemaleTotal
aOther cancers include cancers of the lip, pharynx and oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, larynx, cervix uteri (women), kidney and renal pelvis, bladder, liver, colon, and rectum; also acute myeloid leukemia
bOther heart diseases includes rheumatic heart disease, pulmonary heart disease, and other forms of heart disease.
cOther vascular diseases include atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm, and other arterial diseases.
dCOPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and includes emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airways obstruction.
Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer)
Lung cancer74,30053,400127,700
Other cancersa26,00010,00036,000
Subtotal: Cancer100,30063,400163,700
Cardiovascular Diseases and Metabolic Diseases
Coronary heart disease61,80037,50099,300
Other heart diseaseb13,40012,10025,500
Cerebrovascular disease8,2007,10015,300
Other vascular diseasec6,0005,50011,500
Diabetes mellitus6,2002,8009,000
Subtotal: Cardiovascular and Metabolic95,60065,000160,000
Respiratory Diseases
Pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis7,8004,70012,500
COPDd50,40050,200100,600
Subtotal: Respiratory58,20054,900113,100
Total: Cancer, Cardiovascular, Metabolic Respiratory254,100183,300437,400
Perinatal Conditions
Prenatal conditions346267613
Sudden infant death syndrome236164400
Total: Perinatal Conditions5824311,013
Residential Fires336284620
Secondhand Smoke
Lung cancer4,3742,9597,333
Coronary heart disease19,15214,79933,951
Total: Secondhand smoke23,52617,75841,284
TOTAL Attributable Deaths278,544201,773480,317

Source: 2014 Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress, Chapter 12, Table 12.4[PDF–2.7 MB]



References

  1. 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 Feb 6].
  2. Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, Rostrom B, Thun M, Anderson RN, McAfee T,
    Peto R
    . 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. [PDF–782 KB]. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013;368(4):341–50[accessed 2014 Feb 6].
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 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, 2004[accessed 2014 Feb 6].
  4. National Cancer Institute. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends [PDF–2.93 MB]. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 1998.[accessed 2014 Feb 6].
  5. World Health Organization. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines [PDF–3.18 MB]. International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Vol. 89. Lyon, (France): World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2007[accessed 2014 Feb 6].
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. QuickStats: Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes—National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013: 62(08);155[accessed 2014 Feb 6].
  7. Novotny TE, Giovino GA. Tobacco Use. In: Brownson RC, Remington PL, Davis JR, editors. Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control. Washington: American Public Health Association, 1998:117–48[cited 2014 Feb 6].
  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2001[accessed 2014 Feb 6].

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E-mail: tobaccoinfo@cdc.gov
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO

Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.

 

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