Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion

Download this page [PDF – 2M]

Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths every year in the U.S. CDC works to prevent the risk factors that cause these diseases, such as tobacco use, obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and alcohol abuse. Chronic disease prevention saves lives, reduces disease and disability, and helps save billions in unnecessary healthcare costs.

A couple jogging
Icon: Cigarette

1 in 5

Nearly 1 in 5 adults (42 million) in the U.S. still smokes.

Icon: Map


No state has an obesity rate less than 15%, the national goal.

Icon: Dollar symbol

$2 Trillion

Chronic diseases account for $2 trillion of the $2.8 trillion the U.S. spends in annual medical costs.

Key Accomplishments

  • Reported for the first time in a generation that obesity rates declined among low-income preschoolers in 19 states and U.S. territories, which could help prevent future health problems.
  • Expanded the Diabetes Prevention Program to hundreds of organizations—a program that can cut in half the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Helped millions of Americans reduce their exposure to cancer- and heart disease-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke through more smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other public places.
  • Provided more than 220,000 women with breast and cervical cancer screenings, resulting in early detection of about 4,000 breast and cervical cancers.

All-Time Low

Downward pointing arrow with 2010-2012 next to a graphic of a pregnant woman. The rate of teen births among 15- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. decreased from 34 per 1,000 in 2010 to 29 per 1,000 in 2012.

Here's a "Tip"—Don't Smoke

  A photo of a former smoker with text that reads

CDC's unique Tips From Former Smokers, the nation's first paid tobacco education campaign, doesn't just tell viewers that using tobacco is harmful to their health—it shows them.

The hard-hitting campaign features real former smokers with disabling conditions (including throat surgeries, limb amputations, heart surgery scars, and immobility) and gives "tips" to deal with the consequences of smoking. CDC has expanded the campaign to cover more serious health conditions from smoking, including adult asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes-related complications.

More than 8 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease, and every day more than 1,000 youth under the age of 18 become daily smokers. In its first year, the Tips From Former Smokers campaign helped more than 100,000 smokers quit for good and doubled the number of calls to tobacco quit lines—preventing tens of thousands of deaths and saving money.


Error processing SSI file