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Tobacco Use Rates At-A-Glance


  • 44 million Americans smoke (1/2 expected to die from their addiction); represents about 19% of all adults in U.S.
    • Gender breakdown:
      • 21.6% adult men
      • 16.5% adult women
    • Age breakdown:
      • 18.9% adults 18 – 24 years
      • 22.1% adults 25 – 44 years
      • 21.4% adults 45 – 64 years
      • 7.9% adults 65 years +
    • Race/Ethnicity Breakdown:
      • 31.5% of American Indians/Alaska Natives (non-Hispanic)
      • 9.9% of Asians (non-Hispanic; excludes Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders)
      • 19.4% of blacks (non-Hispanic)
      • 12.9% of Hispanics
      • 20.6% of whites (non-Hispanic)
    • Education level breakdown:
      • 45.3% of adults with a GED diploma
      • 34.6% of adults with 9–11 years of education
      • 23.8% of adults with a high school diploma
      • 9.3% of adults with an undergraduate college degree
      • 5.0% of adults with a postgraduate college degree
    • Poverty Status Breakdown:
      • 29.0% of adults who live below the poverty level
      • 17.9% of adults who live at or above the poverty level
  • By state, in 2010, smoking prevalence ranged from 9.1% in Utah to 26.8% in West Virginia.6
  • By region, in 2010, smoking prevalence was highest in the Midwest (21.8%) and South (21.0%) and lowest in the West (15.9%).6
  • Overall, in 2010, states with the highest prevalence of adult smoking were clustered in the Midwest and Southeast
  • 440,000 deaths, or one in every five deaths, caused by tobacco use in U.S.
  • 1,200 people die each day in the U.S. from preventable, tobacco-related diseases
  • Tobacco costs the U.S. $96 billion in healthcare expenses each year
  • Tobacco costs the U.S. $97 billion in lost productivity each year
  • Percentage of high school students who smoked one or more cigarettes in the previous month in 2011
    • 18.1% of high school students
    • 16.1% of female high school students
    • 19.9% of male high school students
    • 10.5% of black, non-Hispanic high school students
    • 17.5% of Hispanic high school students
    • 20.3% of white, non-Hispanic high school students
  • Percentage of middle school students who were current cigarette smokers in 2011
    • 4.3% of middle school students
    • 4.0% of female middle school students
    • 4.5% of male middle school students
    • 1.3% of Asian, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 3.6% of black, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 6.7% of Hispanic middle school students
    • 3.8% of white, non-Hispanic middle school students
  • Percentage of high school students who were current cigar smokers in 2011
    • 13.1% of high school students
    • 8.0% of female high school students
    • 17.8% of male high school students
    • 13.3% of black, non-Hispanic high school students
    • 11.8% of Hispanic high school students
    • 13.5% of white, non-Hispanic high school students
  • Percentage of middle school students who were current cigar smokers in 2011
    • 3.5% of middle school students
    • 2.5% of female middle school students
    • 4.3% of male middle school students
    • 0.6% of Asian, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 5.7% of black, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 6.1% of Hispanic middle school students
    • 2.3% of white, non-Hispanic middle school students
  • Percentage of high school students who were current smokeless tobacco users in 2011
    • 7.7% of high school students
    • 2.2% of female high school students
    • 12.8% of male high school students
    • 3.1% of black, non-Hispanic high school students
    • 5.9% of Hispanic high school students
    • 9.3% of white, non-Hispanic high school students
  • Percentage of middle school students who were current smokeless tobacco users in 2011
    • 2.2% of middle school students
    • 1.4% of female middle school students
    • 3.0% of male middle school students
    • 1.3% of Asian, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 1.0% of black, non-Hispanic middle school students
    • 2.9% of Hispanic middle school students
    • 2.3% of white, non-Hispanic middle school students
  • Over 3,500 kids and adolescents try their first cigarette (about ½ will become addicted and 1/3 will eventually die from tobacco-related disease)

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