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Tobacco Facts

Smoking Kills

  • Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking is a factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease, and it costs the U.S. nearly $150 billion each year in health care and other expenses. Learn about lung cancer.
  • About 438,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases. This is more than all alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car crash, fire, and AIDS deaths combined. In New York State, that number is about 25,500 adults.
  • Here in Monroe County, three people die each day from smoking-related diseases.
  • Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death behind active smoking and alcohol abuse. It also has many non-fatal but serious effects; breathing secondhand smoke makes the eyes and nose burn, and can cause headaches and nausea in nonsmokers.
  • Smoking is considered a health hazard because tobacco smoke contains nicotine, a poisonous alkaloid, and other harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, acrolein, ammonia, prussic acid, and a number of aldehydes and tars; in all, tobacco contains some 4,000 chemicals.
  • On average, a pack-a-day smoker spends about $1,460 – $2,190 a year on cigarettes.
  • Patients who smoke before surgery have a higher rate of infection than nonsmokers.
  • Smoking slows healing after surgery.
  • Smokers' broken bones take longer to heal than nonsmokers' bones.

Facts and information have been compiled from the following sources: