Location Select your location

Facts

For some of the key victories and milestones in the American Lung Association’s efforts to fight tobacco use, see our Tobacco Control Timeline

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 high school students in the U.S. use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey
  2. 7.7 percent of middle school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.
  3. 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.
  4. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 480,000 people per year.
  5. Secondhand smoke kills more than 41,000 people in the U.S. each year.
  6. 28 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws making almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars smokefree.
  7. New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.35 per pack.
  8. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
  9. The average of all states plus the District of Columbia’s cigarette taxes are $1.60 per pack.
  10. Seven states have taxes on other tobacco products equivalent to their state’s cigarette taxes.
  11. North Dakota is the only state that is funding their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2016).
  12. Eight states increased their cigarette taxes in 2015.
  13. No state approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2015.
  14. 3 states—Connecticut, Indiana and Massachusetts—offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
  15. Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide tobacco quitlines, a phone number for quit smoking phone counseling. The average amount states invest in quitlines is $3.37 per smoker in the state.
  16. Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $22 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year – more than 11 percent of total Medicaid spending.
  17. 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.
  18. The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
  19. 40 states and Washington D.C. spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
  20. States spend less than two cents of every dollar they get from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes to fight tobacco use.
  21. Each day, more than 2,600 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and about 600 kids become new, regular smokers.
  22. Each day, more than 2,500 kids try their first cigar. On average, over 107 kids try their first cigar every hour in the United States- equaling more than 900,000 every year.
  23. Smoking costs the U.S. economy over $289 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity every year.
  24. The five largest cigarette companies spent over $1 million dollars per hour marketing their products in 2012.
  25. Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
  26. Smoking rates are over twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Hawaii became the first state to increase its minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21.
  30. Minnesota became the first state to eliminate all barriers to receiving tobacco cessation treatments for its Medicaid enrollees.

Did You Know?

Read More Facts »

By The Numbers

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 »
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Join the FORCE

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer and we are determined to defeat it.

Get involved