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What is the Human Toll of Smoking?

  • More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.
  • For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.
  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Smoking is a known cause of erectile dysfunction in males.
  • Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030

    Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from second hand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non smokers.  If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected 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.

    In 2014, more than $9 billion was spent on advertising and promotion of cigarettes—nearly $25 million every day, and about $1 million every hour.

    Price discounts account for nearly 80% of all cigarette marketing. These are discounts paid to cigarette retailers or wholesalers in order to reduce the price of cigarettes to consumers.

    Total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year, including

    Nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults

    More than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to second hand smoke

    States have billions of dollars from tobacco taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements to prevent and control tobacco use. However, states currently use a very small amount of these funds for tobacco control programs.

    In fiscal year 2017, states will collect $26.6 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but will only spend $491.6 million—less than 2%—on prevention and cessation programs.

    Currently, only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) fund tobacco control programs at CDC's "recommended" level. Only one other state (Oklahoma) provides even half the recommended funding. Two states (Connecticut and New Jersey) have allocated no state funds for tobacco use prevention.

    Spending less than 13% (i.e., $3.3 billion) of the $26.6 billion would fund every state tobacco control program at CDC-recommended levels.

    Percentage of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who were current cigarette smokers in 2015:

    15.1% of all adults (36.5 million people): 16.7% of males, 13.6% of females

    Nearly 22 of every 100 non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives (21.9%)

    About 20 of every 100 non-Hispanic multiple race individuals (20.2%)

    Nearly 17 of every 100 non-Hispanic Blacks (16.7%)

    Nearly 17 of every 100 non-Hispanic Whites (16.6%)

    About 10 of every 100 Hispanics (10.1%)

    7 of every 100 non-Hispanic Asians (7.0%)

    Each day, more than 3,200 people 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.

    In 2011:

    Nearly 7 in 10 (68.9%) adult cigarette smokers wanted to stop smoking.

    More than 4 in 10 (42.7%) adult cigarette smokers had made a quit attempt in the past year.

    Approximately 100,000 U.S. smokers are expected to stay quit for good as a result of the 2012 Tips From Former Smokers campaign.

    References

    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,

    World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011. Geneva: World Health Organization.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2016;65(44):1205–1211

 

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