Tobacco by the Numbers

Tobacco use is the single most common cause of cancer mortality in the United States, making it the most preventable cause of death in our society.

  • In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths; this equates to about 480,000 early deaths each year.1
  • The Tips From Former Smokers campaign motivated 1.6 million smokers to quit.2
  • Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.3
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.4
  • On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.4
  • In 2011, 7 in 10 adult cigarette smokers wanted to stop smoking.4
  • More than 4 in 10 adult cigarette smokers have made an attempt to quit in the past year.4
  • The tobacco industry spent 9.17$ billion on advertising and promotion of cigarettes or over $1 million every hour.4
  • Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure remain the leading causes of preventable disease and premature death in the United States, resulting in approximately 443,000 deaths and $193 billion in direct healthcare expenditures and productivity losses in the United States each year.5
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  1. American Cancer Society. Tobacco-Related Cancers Fact Sheet. 2014. Retrieved from
  2. The Lancet. Effect of the first federally funded US antismoking national media campaign. 2013 December 13. Retrieved from
  3. American Cancer Society. What kinds of illness and death are caused by smoking cigarettes? 2014 February 20. Retrieved from
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fast Facts. 2015 April 15. Retrieved from
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses—United States, 2000-2004. MMWR 2008; 57:1226-8.