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Cigarette Smoking-Related Mortality


Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related. Every year, smoking kills more than 276,000 men and 142,000 women.1

  • Between 1960 and 1990, deaths from lung cancer among women have increased by more than 400%—exceeding breast cancer deaths in the mid-1980s.2 The American Cancer Society estimated that in 1994, 64,300 women died from lung cancer and 44,300 died from breast cancer.3
     
  • Men who smoke increase their risk of death from lung cancer by more than 22 times and from bronchitis and emphysema by nearly 10 times. Women who smoke increase their risk of dying from lung cancer by nearly 12 times and the risk of dying from bronchitis and emphysema by more than 10 times. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among middle-aged men and women.1
     
  • Every year in the United States, premature deaths from smoking rob more than five million years from the potential lifespan of those who have died.1
     
  • Annually, exposure to secondhand smoke (or environmental tobacco smoke) causes an estimated 3,000 deaths from lung cancer among American adults.4 Scientific studies also link secondhand smoke with heart disease.

     

Disease

Men

Women 

Overall

       
Cancers      
Lung

81,179

35,741

116,920

Lung from ETS 

1,055

1,945 3,000

Other

21,659 9,743 31,402
Total     103,893 47,429 151,322
 
Cardiovascular Diseases
Hypertension 3,233 2,151  5,450
Heart Disease 88,644 45,591 134,235
Stroke 14,978 8,303 23,281
Other 11,682 5,172 16,854
Total  118,603 61,117  179,820
 
Respiratory Diseases
Pneumonia 11,292  7,881  19,173
Bronchitis/ Emphysema 9,234 5,541  14,865
Chronic Airway Obstruction 30,385 18,579   48,982
Other  787     668 1,455
Total  51,788  32,689    84,475
 
Diseases Among Infants 1,006 705  1,711
Burn Deaths  863 499    1,362
All Causes  276,153 142,537 418,690

 

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-attributable mortality and years of potential life lost — United States, 1990. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1993;42(33):645-8.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mortality trends for selected smoking-related and breast cancer — United States, 1950-1990. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1993;42(44):857, 863-6.
  3. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures — 1996. Atlanta (GA): American Cancer Society, 1996.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. Washington (DC): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development. EPA/600/6-90/006F. December 1992.

June 2001
 


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This page last reviewed January 26, 2005

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health