Highlights: United States
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association and its partners have committed to three bold goals:
- Reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent by 2024;
- Protect all Americans from secondhand smoke by 2019; and
- Ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
The American Lung Association recognizes that these bold goals will only be met if federal policymakers take these three actions:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must finalize the regulation that would extends its authority over all tobacco products;
- FDA must issue product standards governing the design and content of tobacco products;
- Congress must increase and equalize tobacco taxes across all products.
January 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's report on Smoking and Health. The American Lung Association and its partners recognized this anniversary by committing to ending tobacco use in the United States through these three bold goals. Also in January, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak released the 2014 new Surgeon General’s report The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress.
In April, FDA released its long-overdue proposal to assert its authority over all tobacco products. The proposed regulation would give FDA basic oversight authority over unregulated products, such as cigars and electronic cigarettes, and require manufacturers to register with FDA and disclose their products’ ingredients to the agency. It would also prohibit tobacco companies from making health claims without FDA review. One very troubling provision in the proposed regulation would create an exemption for certain types of cigars. The American Lung Association filed extensive organizational comments as well as submitted comments with other public health and medical partners, urging FDA to ensure it has authority over all tobacco products. The Lung Association also made clear that any exemption for cigars or any other tobacco products is unacceptable.
In May, the Obama Administration issued guidance on quit smoking benefits available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This announcement clarified what treatments insurance plans should cover for quitting smoking as part of their preventive services benefit. The guidance will help health insurance commissioners, employers and insurance plans make sure that smokers get the assistance they need to quit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued its very successful "Tips from Former Smokers" media campaign to help encourage adult smokers to quit and in 2014, FDA launched "The Real Cost Campaign" which targets youth ages 12 to 17 at greatest risk for smoking. The evidence that such mass media campaigns are an important part of reducing tobacco use were highlighted in the 2014 Surgeon General's report as well as in the 2014 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs–2014.
United States Facts
|Economic Costs Due to Smoking:||$289,500,000,000|
|Adult Smoking Rates:||18.0%|
|High School Smoking Rates:||12.7%|
|Middle School Smoking Rates:||2.9%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths Rates:||480,320|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Death Rates:||163,700|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Death:||113,100|
Adult smoking rate is taken from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey. High school and middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
Health impact information is taken from The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2014. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Respiratory diseases include pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, emphysema and chronic airway obstruction. The estimated economic impact of smoking is based on smoking-attributable health care expenditures in 2009, the average annual productivity losses for the period 2005-2009, and the value of lost productivity due to secondhand smoke exposure in 2006.
Did You Know?
2014 was the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, which linked smoking to lung cancer and other deadly diseases for the first time.
A 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 8 million lives have been saved through tobacco control efforts since 1964, including 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 1,300 people per day.
Secondhand smoke kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year.
28 states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.35 per pack.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
The average of all states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.54 per pack.
Nine states have taxes on other tobacco products equivalent to their state's cigarette taxes.
Alaska and North Dakota are the only two states that fund their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2015).
No states approved cigarette tax increases large enough to impact smoking rates in 2014.
No states approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2014.
2 states—Indiana and Massachusetts—offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
The average amount states invest in quitlines is $3.65 per smoker in the state.
Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $40 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year—more than 15 percent of total Medicaid spending.
A recent study found that CDC's Tips from Former Smokers media campaign is highly cost effective in helping smokers quit and reducing smoking-caused deaths.
In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
41 states and Washington, D.C. spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
States spend less than two cents of every dollar they get in tobacco-related revenue to fight tobacco use.
Each day, more than 3,200 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and about 700 kids become new, regular smokers.
Each day, more than 2,300 kids try their first cigar.
Smoking costs the U.S. economy $356 million in direct healthcare costs and $411 million in lost productivity each day.
The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22.9 million dollars a day marketing their products in 2011.
Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
Smoking rates are almost twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
A 2013 study of California’s tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
A 2012 study of Massachusetts' comprehensive Medicaid quit smoking benefit found that Massachusetts saved $3 for every $1 spent helping smokers quit in just over a year.
Wonder what diseases smoking causes that you didn’t know about? Take a look at our top ten lists to find out.View the Lists
10 Year Road Map
Check out our road map to eliminate tobacco-caused death and disease.View the Road Map