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Who Smokes?

Percentage of U.S. adults who were current smokers in 2010:

  • 19.3% of all adults
  • 31.4% non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 25.9% non-Hispanic multiple race
  • 21.0% non-Hispanic white
  • 20.6% non-Hispanic black
  • 12.5% Hispanic
  • 9.2% non-Hispanic Asian

How Tobacco Affects Your Health

Cigarettes and Cigars

The effects of cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.

More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicide and murder combined.

Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.

An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.

Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and dying from such chronic obstructive lung diseases as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Smoking has also been shown to cause acute myeloid leukemia, as well as cancers of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx (voice box), lung, mouth, pancreas, throat and stomach.

Smoking has adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for infertility, pre-term delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked.

Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.

Source: CDC Fact Sheet

Smokeless Tobacco


  • Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).
  • Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of human cancer; it increases the risk of developing cancer of the mouth.

Oral Health

  • Smokeless tobacco is also strongly associated with leukoplakia—a precancerous lesion of the soft tissue in the mouth that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off.
  • It is also associated with recession of the gums, gum disease and tooth decay.

Reproductive Health

  • Smokeless tobacco use during pregnancy increases the risks for preeclampsia (i.e., a condition that may include high blood pressure, fluid retention, and swelling), premature birth, and low birth weight.
  • Use by men causes reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm cells.

Nicotine Addiction

  • Smokeless tobacco use can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.
  • Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.

Source: CDC Smokeless Tobacco Facts

How Smoking Affects Others

  •  An estimated 50,000 out of 443,000 smoking-related deaths each year are due to second-hand smoke exposure.
  • Second-hand smoke has been classified as a Group A carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Nonsmokers have a 20% increased risk of heart disease when exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Second-hand smoke contains higher concentrations of ammonia, benzene, nicotine and carbon monoxide than the mainstream smoke that smokers inhale.

 Sources: CDC, EPA and Annual Review of Public Health

 Keeping Our Campus Sustainable

  • Most cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate which can take from 18 months to 15 years to degrade.
  • Birds, fish, other animals and small children mistakenly eat butts. 
  • Most butts are not disposed of properly, making them 32% of all litter found in storm drains.

Source: Keep America Beautiful