Wellness

16 Disturbing Numbers That Prove Our Smoking Epidemic Is Far From Over

Every year, the American Cancer Society dubs the third Thursday of November the Great American Smokeout, a day of encouragement for smokers to kick the habit -- even just for one day.

Currently, about 18 percent of Americans say they smoke cigarettes -- a dramatic drop from smoking rates of years passed. On the other hand, use of electronic cigarettes is on the rise: The American Heart Association cites predictions that e-cigarette sales will amount to a $10 billion industry by the year 2017, and "vape", the term given to consuming that nicotine vapor, was even named Oxford Dictionary's 2014 word of the year.

But tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death. By 2030, around 8 million people will die annually from the habit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So while we've made undeniable progress, we clearly have a long way to go. If you or a smoker in your life is not yet convinced, here are a few numbers to remind us all why it's important we get there.

The number of deaths in the United States caused by cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke every year.

The number of those tobacco-related deaths from lung cancer alone.

The percentage of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. that are caused by smoking.

great american smokeout
As part of the Great American Smokeout, U.S. Surgeon General Julius B. Richmond, at the microphones, kicks off the third annual Smokeout rally sponsored by the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 1979. (AP Photo)

The number of years longer a nonsmoker is expected to live than a smoker. However, quit before you turn 40 and you'll reduce your risk of dying from a smoking-related illness by about 90 percent.

smoker lungs

The number of cigarettes consumed per person per year in the United States. Worldwide, the country with the highest cigarette consumption rate is Serbia, at 2,861 cigarettes per person per year, the Washington Post reported.

The total tobacco-related health care costs from 2000 to 2004 in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

The length of time it takes for a former smoker's risk of coronary heart disease to drop back down to that of a non-smoker's.

The percentage of their entire income that low-income New York smokers spend on cigarettes, according to a 2012 study.

lucky strike smoking ad

Dollars spent by the tobacco industry on advertising and promotions in 2011.

At least this many of the more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds in tobacco smoke have been found to cause cancer.

The total number of cigarettes purchased in the United States in 2011.

The number of teens and children under 18 who smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S.

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