Resources & Links

Learn the basics about tobacco, and see what other organizations are doing to eliminate tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Tobacco 101

Get the facts about tobacco, including brief statistics and facts. For information on the different forms of tobacco and nicotine products, visit our emerging and alternative products page.
  • 17.8% of adults aged 18 or older are current cigarette smokers1.
  • The estimated economic costs attributable to smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke continue to increase and now approach $300 billion annually, with direct medical costs of at least $130 billion and productivity losses of more than $150 billion a year2.
  • Close to 70% of tobacco users report wanting to quit3.
  • Among children who live in homes in which no one smokes indoors, those who live in multiunit housing (for example, apartments or condos) have 45% higher cotinine levels (or almost half the amount) than children who live in single-family homes4.
  • Just over 25% of U.S. nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine, a nicotine byproduct metabolized by the body after breathing in secondhand smoke5.
  • The money cigarette and smokeless companies spent in 2012 on US marketing amounted to about $26 million each day6.
  • In the United States, smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths, 32% of coronary heart disease deaths, 79% of all cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 33% of cancer deaths2.
  • 90% of smokers start before the age of 187.
  • Exposure to tobacco products and secondhand smoke can be very dangerous to both people and pets.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to SHS8.

Links to Other Organizations


Sources
1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2013.. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;63(47):1108–12 [accessed 2015 June 30].

2) 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, 2014 [accessed 2015 June 30].

3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2001–2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2011;60(44):1513–9 [accessed 2015 June 30].

4) Wilson KM,, Klein JD, Blumkin AK, Gottlieb M, Winickoff JP.Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Children Who Live in Multiunit Housing. [PDF–575 KB] Pediatrics 2011:127(1):85-92.

5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke—United States, 1999–2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015;64(4):103–8 [accessed 2015 June 30].

6) Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2012. Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2015 [accessed 2015 June 30].

7) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: 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, 2012 [accessed 2015 June 30].

8) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: 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, 2006 [accessed 2015 June 30].