Tobacco Use in the USA

Cigarette pack

Cigarette pack

• High school students who are current (past month) smokers: 19.5% or 3.4 million [Boys: 19.8% Girls: 19.1%]

• High school males who currently use smokeless tobacco: 15.0% [Girls: 2.2%]

• Kids (under 18) who try smoking for the first time each day: 4,000

• Kids (under 18) who become new regular, daily smokers each day: 1,000+

• Kids exposed to secondhand smoke at home: 15.5 million

• Workplaces that have smoke-free policies: 75.1%

• Packs of cigarettes consumed by kids each year: 800 million (roughly $2.0 billion per year in sales revenue)

• Adults in the USA who smoke: 20.6% or 46.6 million [Men: 23.5% Women: 17.9%]

Deaths & Disease in the USA from Tobacco Use

• People who die each year from their own cigarette smoking: approx. 400,000

• Adult nonsmokers who die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke: approx. 50,000

• Kids under 18 alive today who will ultimately die from smoking (unless smoking rates decline): 6,000,000+

• People in the USA who currently suffer from smoking-caused illness: 8.6 million

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined, with thousands more dying from spit tobacco use. Of all the kids who become new smokers each year, almost a third will ultimately die from it. In addition, smokers lose an average of 13 to 14 years of life because of their smoking.

Tobacco-Related Monetary Costs in the USA

Total annual public and private health care expenditures caused by smoking: $96 billion
– Annual Federal and state government smoking-caused Medicaid payments: $30.9 billion
[Federal share: $17.6 billion per year. States’ share: $13.3 billion]
– Federal government smoking-caused Medicare expenditures each year: $27.4 billion
– Other federal government tobacco-caused health care costs (e.g. through VA health care): $9.6 billion

• Annual health care expenditures solely from secondhand smoke exposure: $4.98 billion

Additional smoking-caused health costs caused by tobacco use include annual expenditures for health and developmental problems of infants and children caused by mothers smoking or being exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy or by kids being exposed to parents smoking after birth (at least $1.4 to $4.0 billion). Also not included above are costs from smokeless or spit tobacco use, adult secondhand smoke exposure, or pipe/cigar smoking.

Productivity losses caused by smoking each year: $97 billion

[Only includes costs from productive work lives shortened by smoking-caused death. Not included: costs from smokingcaused disability during work lives, smoking-caused sick days, or smoking-caused productivity declines when on the job.]

Other non-healthcare costs from tobacco use include residential and commercial property losses from smoking-caused fires(about half a billion dollars per year) and tobacco-related cleaning & maintenance ($3 billion).

• Taxpayers yearly fed/state tax burden from smoking-caused gov’t spending: $70.7 billion ($616 per household)

• Smoking-caused health costs and productivity losses per pack sold in USA (low estimate): $10.47 per pack

• Average retail price per pack in the USA (including sales tax): $5.29

Tobacco Industry Advertising & Political Influence

• Annual tobacco industry spending on marketing its products nationwide: $12.8 billion ($35+ million each day)
Research studies have found that kids are three times as sensitive to tobacco advertising than adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure; and that a third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to tobacco company advertising and promotion.

• Annual tobacco industry contributions to federal candidates, political parties, and PACS: Over $2 million

• Tobacco industry expenditures lobbying Congress in 2010: $16.6 million, 162 employees

Tobacco companies also spend enormous amounts to influence state and local politics; and, when threatened by the federal McCain tobacco control bill in 1998, spent more than $125 million in direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat it. Since 1998, Altria (Philip Morris) has spent more on lobbying Congress than almost any other business.

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