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American Cancer Society // Infographics // 2015

True Cost of Tobacco Use

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. Yet more than 55.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, according to the “National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” As of 2013, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, 8.8 million smokeless tobacco users (chewing tobacco and snuff), and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.

Dollars Are Wasted

Every society gives up the opportunity to buy something important when valuable resources are spent treating tobacco-related illnesses.

Tobacco-Related Healthcare costs vs. Missed Opportunities for Programs and Services

  • $133 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in the United States from 2000 to 2012, instead of being spent on things like transportation, education, public safety and rural development.
  • $16.6 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in France.
  • $9.5 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in the United Kingdom.
  • $6.2 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in China.
  • $2.8 Billion dollars were spent on tobacco-related healthcare costs in Canada.

Society Pays and So Do You

The burden of death, disease, and disability by the use of tobacco products doesn't just lie with the smoker, but society as well.


  • From 2000 to 2012, tobacco-related health costs and productivity loss in the United States totaled $289 Billion


  • The average price of a pack of cigarettes in the United States is $6.36. But each pack of cigarettes creates $35 dollars of health-related costs for the smoker.

Smoking Causes Damage Throughout the Body

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds. Hundreds of these are toxic, and at least 69 are cancer causing. When you use tobacco, you risk developing the following conditions or illnesses:

  • Blindness (macular degeneration)
  • Impaired sense of smell
  • Cancer of the lips and mount
  • Impaired sense of taste
  • Halitosis
  • Throat cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Pharynx cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Tracheal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchus cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Gastric cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Early menopause
  • Reduce fertility
  • Infertility
  • Impotence

Cigarette smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death in the United States.

Half of all those who continue to smoke will die from a smoking-related illness.

Don't Smoke and Encourage Others Not to Smoke.

Quitting tobacco is not easy, but it can be done. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org/smokeout to find tips, tools, and resources to help you or someone you love quit for good.

Learn More // tobaccoatlas.org
Volunteer // cancer.org/volunteer
Donate // cancer.org/donate

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