Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. An estimated 46 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes and annually cigarette smoking causes approximately 443,000 deaths. For every person who dies from tobacco use, another 20 suffer with at least one serious tobacco-related illness. In 2004, this addiction cost the nation more than $96 billion per year in direct medical expenses as well as more than $97 billion annually in lost productivity.
When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:
Whites : 22.1%
African Americans : 21.3%
Hispanics : 14.5%
American Indians/Alaska Natives : 23.2%
Asian Americans : 12.0%
People of multiple races : 29.5%
There were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups. In 2009, the CDC reported 24.% of those 25 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared with 9.5% of those aged 65 or older.
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Each year in the United States, cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes 443,000—or 1 in 5 deaths. Economic losses are also staggering. Smoking-caused diseases result in $96 billion in health care costs annually.