Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim more than 480,000 American lives each year. Smoking cost the U.S. at least $289 billion each year, including at least $150 billion in lost productivity and $130 billion in direct healthcare expenditures. This is an average of close to $7,000 per adult smoker.
Key Facts about Smoking
Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, at least 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80 percent of deaths caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Among adults who have ever smoked daily, 87 percent had tried their first cigarette by the time they were 18 years of age, and 95 percent had by age 21.
Among current smokers, chronic lung disease accounts for 73 percent of smoking-related conditions. Even among smokers who have quit, chronic lung disease still accounts for 50 percent of smoking-related conditions.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and is a main cause of lung cancer and COPD. It also is a cause of coronary heart disease, stroke and a host of other cancers and diseases.
Smoking Rates among Adults & Youth
In 2013, an estimated 42.1 million, or 17.8 percent of adults 18 years of age and older were current smokers.
Men tend to smoke more than women. In 2013, 20.5 percent of men currently smoked compared to 15.3 percent of women.
Prevalence of current smoking in 2013 was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (26.1 percent), non-Hispanic whites (19.4 percent) and non-Hispanic blacks (18.3 percent) , and was lowest among Hispanics (12.1 percent) and Asian-Americans (9.6 percent).
In 2014, 9.2 percent of high school students and 2.5 percent of middle school students were current cigarette users.