Stats About Tobacco

  • As an addictive substance, nicotine, on a milligram for milligram basis, is 10 times more potent than heroin
  • More than 399,000 US deaths annually are attributable to cigarette smoking
  • Every 8 seconds, someone dies from tobacco use
  • The CDC reports that smoking causes at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, including more than 80 percent of lung cancer deaths, and 80 percent of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Smoking is responsible for early cardiovascular disease and death. As a result, about half of all long-term smokers, particularly those who began smoking as teens, die prematurely, many in middle age, and tobacco use is a factor in their deaths.
  • Each year, cigarette smoking causes an estimated 438,000 deaths, or about one of every five deaths. This estimate includes approximately 38,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25-30 percent and their lung cancer risk by 20-30 percent.
  • More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
  • Much can be done to mitigate this public health concern, as tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Sourced from:
eValue8 Employer Report "Health Plan Tobacco Cessation Performance" 2008
Sachs DLP, "Advances in Smoking Cessation Treatment" 1991
CDC, "MMWR" 2005
WHO, "Fact Sheets Smoking Statistics" 2006

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