Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Tobacco Statistics Snapshot

  • Updated: 11/09/2012

Tobacco Statistics Snapshot

Tobacco Facts

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, and heart disease.[1]

  • Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including approximately 49,000 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.[2,3]
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80 percent of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking.[4,5]
  • Smoking causes many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia.[1]
  • People who smoke are up to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than nonsmokers, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. Smoking also causes most cases of chronic obstructive lung disease.[6]
  • In 2011, an estimated 19 percent of U.S. adults were cigarette smokers.[2]
  • Nearly 16 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes.[7]
  • An estimated 7.3 percent of high school students use smokeless tobacco.[7]
  1.  Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit (PDQ®)
  2.  Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults - United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2012
  3.  NCI Fact Sheet: Secondhand Smoke and Cancer
  4.  Lung Cancer Prevention (PDQ®)
  5.  2004 Surgeon General's Report - The Health Consequences of Smoking
  6.  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Your Guide to a Healthy Heart
  7.  Current Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students - United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2012