Tobacco use continues to be a leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Tobacco is a significant risk factor for multiple cancers, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and strokes. Each year, in the U.S., tobacco claims more lives than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, car accidents, murders, and suicides combined.
Even though cigarette smoking has decreased dramatically since 1964, there are still differences in tobacco use among groups defined by race, ethnicity, educational levels, socioeconomic class, and among areas of the country. According to the research, the tobacco industry targeted advertising and marketing could be one reason for tobacco usage disparities. People in low-income neighborhoods, racial and ethnic minorities, women, youth, LGBTQ individuals, members of the military, and those with mental health disorders are all disproportionately affected by tobacco use.
Youth use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, irrespective of whether it is smoked, smokeless, or electronic. If smoking continues at current rates, 1 out of every 13 or 56 million of today’s children will ultimately die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of smoke from a cigarette's burning end and the smoke breathed out by smokers. More than 7,000 compounds are found in secondhand smoking. Hundreds of them are poisonous, and roughly seventy of them can cause cancer.
Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers have died because they breathed secondhand smoke.