All Groups (General Public)
Know the Facts
Cigarette 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.
For every smoking-related death, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term illnesses, including:
- Buerger’s Disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Gum Disease
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Vision Loss
Cigarette 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 due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.1
- Learn what percent of people currently smoke cigarettes, both in the United States overall and among specific populations.
Learn the real stories of people who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
Meet Leonard. Leonard, an American actor best known for his role as Spock on the popular television and film series Star Trek, started smoking as a teenager. He finally quit for good after 37 years, but his lungs were badly damaged. Leonard was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which led to his death in February 2015.
Meet Dana. Dana, age 38, lives in North Carolina and began smoking as a young teenager. She helped care for her mother, Tips participant Terrie, through Terrie’s battle with smoking-related cancer.
Learn more about all Tips participants in our Real Stories section.
Call a quitline. A quitline provides free coaching over the phone to help you quit smoking. Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support. Coaching help is available in several languages:
- English: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- Spanish: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569)
- Mandarin and Cantonese: 1-800-838-8917
- Korean: 1-800-556-5564
- Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8440
Use an app.
The quitSTART appExternal is a free smartphone app that helps you quit smoking with tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges.
Sign up for texts. Smokefree.govExternal offers free text messaging programsExternal that give 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to help you quit smoking for good. You can sign up or opt-out at any time.
- 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 2018 Feb 22].
Beatrice, age 40, started smoking regularly when she was 13 and smoked for 25 years. She decided to quit for good when her young son wrote her a letter asking her to stop smoking. She used patches and other medicines to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Now Beatrice has more energy than when she smoked, and she cooks more—because food tastes so much better. She encourages anyone who wants to quit smoking to do it, and to get help if they need it.
“I want to offer hope to people that it is possible for you to join the ranks of nonsmokers.”