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Tobacco Facts

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country.

  • Cigarette smoking kills more Americans than alcohol, car crashes, AIDS-related causes, fires, heroin, cocaine, homicide and suicide combined.
  • There are more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds in cigarette smoke- at least 250 are known to be harmful and of those at least 69 are known to cause cancer.
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Key Facts from The Health Consequences of Smoking– 50 Years of Progress:
A Report of the Surgeon General (2014)

  • More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.
  • For each of the more than 1,200 people in this country who die due to smoking every day, at least two young people under age 26 become regular smokers.
  • Average smokers lose more than 10 years of life because they smoke, but 90% of that loss is regained when smokers quit by age 40.
  • Tobacco use and secondhand smoke cause illnesses such as lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems.
  • More than 20 million Americans have been killed by smoking since 1965, and 2.5 million of those are nonsmokers killed by secondhand smoke exposure.

Additional Information