STATE OF SMOKING IN US - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

State of smoking in

The United States

US Smoking by the Numbers

Smoking Reduction

The percentage of adult smokers in the US has decreased from 21.6% in 2003 to 18.5% in 2015.

Tobacco Types

The most common type of tobacco is boxed cigarettes at 70%, followed by hand-rolled cigarettes, and then cigars.

Tobacco Deaths

The number of tobacco related deaths has decreased from 238 to 145 per 100,000 from 1990 to 2017. With men decreasing 281 to 171 and women 200 to 122.

Breast v Lung Cancer in Women (Deaths, 2017)

Breast: 3.50%, Lung: 6.08%

Media Dialogue

Media coverage focuses on health risks of cigarette smoking, tobacco usage trends, smoking cessation, harm reduction methods, and the ever-changing regulatory environment.
“The overwhelming amount of the death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes. Addiction causes long-term sustained use. But it’s exposure to the harmful chemicals [from combustion] that causes disease.”

– Scott Gottlieb, MD, Food and Drug Administration commissioner

Public Smoking

All enclosed workspaces, bars, and restaurant

Point of sale Displays

Since 2005, the US enacted warning labels that cover at least 30 percent of tobacco packaging.

Attitudes and Perceptions

How harmful are e-cigs compared to cigarettes?

Perception of relative harm of vaping devices. From the Foundation’s 2017 and 2019 Global Polls, participants were asked, “Do you think smoking e-cigarettes and vaping devices are more or less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes?”

*Data from the 2017 Global Poll


30% of Americans who use nicotine or tobacco products feel too stressed in their personal lives to quit their tobacco consumption (2019 global poll)


In the US, 77.3% of e-cigarette users or those aware of vaping devices are worried that using e-cigarettes or vaping devices in the future will damage their health (2019 global poll)


68.9% of nicotine or tobacco users in the US believe that health warnings on packages are not exaggerated (2019 global poll)


90.8% of American nicotine or tobacco users believe that nicotine is addictive (2019 global poll)


56.9% of nicotine or tobacco product users in the US believe that tobacco-related cancer is primarily caused by nicotine (2019 global poll)

Have you ever spent money on cigarettes that you knew would be better spent on household essentials like food?

Would an increase in tobacco price have an effect on your current smoking habit?

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