Smoking and Health
Tobacco and Cancer
Smoking and Youth
How to quit
Zyban(stop smoking)
Tobacco and Cancer
Smoking Among Adults in the United States: Cancer
Tobacco-Related Mortality

Tobacco-Related Mortality

Fact sheet

February 2004 Overall Mortality

  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. 1 Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 440,000 deaths, or about 1 of every 5 deaths, each year. 2,3 This estimate includes 35,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure. 2
  • Cigarette smoking kills an estimated 264,000 men and 178,000 women in the United States each year. 2
  • 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, suicides, and murders combined. 2,4
  • On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 13�14 years earlier than nonsmokers. 2
  • Based on current cigarette smoking patterns, an estimated 25 million Americans who are alive today will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses, including 5 million people younger than 18. 5

Mortality from Specific Diseases
  • Lung cancer (124,000), heart disease (111,000), and the chronic lung diseases of emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airways obstruction (82,000) are responsible for the largest number of smoking-related deaths. 2
  • The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 22 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes and about 12 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers. 6
  • Since 1950, lung cancer deaths among women have increased by more than 600%. 1 Since 1987, lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. 1
  • Cigarette smoking results in a two- to three-fold increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease. 6
  • Cigarette smoking is associated with a ten-fold increased risk of dying from chronic obstructive lung disease. 6 About 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking. 1,6
  • Pipe smoking and cigar smoking increase the risk of dying from cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, and oral cavity. 7 Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk for developing oral cancer.