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Reducing Tobacco Use


See Also:

• Tobacco Use At A Glance 2003

• Prevention Effectiveness

• Tobacco Web Site


Each year, 440,000 people die of diseases causes by smoking or another form of tobacco use—that’s about 20% of all deaths in the United States.

  • Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to have babies who have an increased risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory distress. They are also more likely to have low birth-weight babies; low birth weight is linked to many infant health disorders.
  • Because of secondhand smoke, each year in the United States, 3000 nonsmokers die of lung cancer and 300,000 children suffer from respiratory tract infections.
  • If current smoking patterns continue, 6.4 million people currently younger than 18 will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease. 

Costs

  • The direct medical costs associated with smoking total more than $75 billion per year. In addition, smoking costs an estimated $80 billion per year in lost productivity.
  • About 14% of all Medicaid expenditures are for smoking-related illnesses. This estimate does not include the costs of smoking-related neonatal disorders. 

CDC Goals

  • To prevent young people from starting to smoke.
  • To eliminate people’s exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • To help people stop smoking.
  • To eliminate disparities in tobacco use among various groups of people.

Average Annual Number of U.S. Deaths Attributable to Cigarette Smoking, 1995–1999
(Total average number, 442,532)

Average Annual Number of U.S. Deaths Attributable to Cigarette Smoking, 1995–1999. Click below for text description.

Source: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

(A text version of this graphic is also available.)

 



 
Program Effectiveness

  • Studies suggest that every dollar spent on stop-smoking programs for pregnant women could save $3 in neonatal intensive care costs.
  • Smokers who successfully stop smoking reduce their potential medical costs associated with heart attack and stroke by about $47 during the first year and by about $853 during the following 7 years.

Examples of CDC Activities


Rates of lung cancer among men have declined more rapidly in California than in other parts of the country and rates of lung cancer among women in California are declining, while they continue to increase elsewhere. California estimates that their program has resulted in an overall cost savings of $8.4 billion.

CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is responsible for carrying out the tobacco-related programs of the Department of Health and Human Services. In that capacity, OSH engages in the following:

  • Provides financial and technical assistance to tobacco-related programs at the health departments of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 7 territories; 6 tribal support centers; and 9 national networks of organizations interested in reducing tobacco use.
  • Gives grants to 21 states for school health programs that include components for preventing tobacco use.
  • Conducts surveillance; analyzes tobacco use and its effects on health.
  • Serves as a WHO collaborating center on smoking-related health issues. 

In 2001, produced Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, which summarizes patterns of tobacco use among women, factors associated with starting and continuing to smoke, the health consequences of smoking, tobacco marketing targeted at women, and cessation and prevention interventions. 

  • Produced other guidelines and reports related to tobacco use.

Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs describes the nine components of effective programs and associated funding ranges.

Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction sets forth strategies to prevent tobacco use by young people.

Reducing Tobacco Use: A Report of the Surgeon General focuses on the effectiveness of various methods to reduce and prevent tobacco use. 

High School Students Who Smoke Cigarettes,* United States, 1991–1999

High School Students Who Smoke Cigarettes,* United States, 1991–1999. Click below for text description.

*Smoked one or more cigarettes during the previous 30 days. 
Source: CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

(A text version of this graphic is also available.)

Examples of State Activities

CDC funds tobacco-control programs in all 50 states. With CDC support, several states are accomplishing meaningful results. 

Florida: Smoking declined by 40% among middle and by 18% among high school students. Smokeless tobacco use declined by 54% among middle and 19% among high school students. 

Massachusetts: From 1992 to 1998, cigarette sales declined 30%; and from 1995 to 1999, smoking declined by 70% among 6th graders and by 38% among 7th and 8th graders. 

Oregon: Since 1996, cigarette smoking has dropped by 23%. Laws limiting smoking in public places have been enacted in 21 communities.

 
Related Information

 




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This page last reviewed October 23, 2003

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