Facts About Tobacco Use

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that "46 million people, or 20.6% of all adults™, in the United States smoke cigarettes," and that "cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year" (2011).
    • These deaths are attributable to lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, other diagnoses, or other cancers.
  • 21.8% of adults aged 18-24 years were current smokers in 2009.
  • 16.7% of adults with an undergraduate college degree or a graduate college degree were current smokers in 2009.
  • 16+%-19% of Texans were current smokers in 2010.
  • "Water pipe smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke. Due to the mode of smoking-including frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of the smoking session-hookah smokers may absorb higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke. A typical 1-hour-long hookah smoking session involves inhaling 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette" (CDC, 2012)
  • "Researchers currently believe that as few as five milligrams of nicotine a day is enough to cause addiction to the drug. The average cigarette has around one milligram of nicotine in it, and cigars have much higher levels of nicotine-up to 400 milligrams in large, long cigars. This means that one cigar a day may be enough to cause addictive changes in your brain cells. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, which are also contained in household products with warning labels telling you to avoid inhaling them" (Orrick, 2012) (e.g., formaldehyde, ammonia, urethane, naphthalene). Other chemical compounds include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, nicotine, benzene, vinyl chloride, ethylene oxide, other volatile aldehydes, cadmium, radioactive polonium 210 (Orrick, 2012).
  • Smokeless tobacco contains 28 known cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).
  • Smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer... Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia (precancerous white patches in the mouth) (National Cancer Institute).
  • 43%, or nearly half, of all Texas litter in 2009 was tobacco trash (Don't Mess With Texas, 2010). Furthermore, that tobacco trash "includ[ed] nearly 400 million discarded cigarette butts," and since "six out of 10 Texas smokers admit they litter™, that means 11 percent of Texans are to blame for nearly half (43 percent) of all litter" (Don't Mess With Texas, 2010).
  • "The monetary value of the health damage from a single pack of cigarettes is $35 to an American smoker" (Gruber, 2008).
  • $96 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in the United States from 2000 to 2004, instead of being spent on things like transportation, education, public safety and rural development. From 2000 to 2004, tobacco-related health costs and productivity loss in the United States totaled $193 Billion (CDC, 2004).
  • Today, a pack of cigarettes costs $7.24/pack in Texas, on average (Jampel, 2013). This costs the smoker who smokes a pack per day approximately $2640 dollars in purchasing cigarettes alone. Research shows that each pack adds approximately $35 dollars in health damage per year for each smoker (Gruber, 2008), which is $12,775 dollars per year. In total, a smoker is accruing nearly a $15,500 dollar bill from smoking a pack per day in cost of cigarettes and health care.
  • Cigarette smoking results in 5.1 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually (CDC, 2004).