Smoking tobacco harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Tobacco contains the chemical nicotine, which causes both physical and psychological addiction and harm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, and smoking cigarettes is the most commonly used tobacco product.

The harmful effects of tobacco extend beyond the user. Second-hand smoke is never risk-free and can cause serious health problems like severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Key Smoking Statistics:

  • For people who smoke every day, West Virginia has the highest rate—19.67 percent of adults. Utah has the lowest at 5.6 percent.
  • For people who are former smokers: Maine has the highest at 32.02 and Utah has the lowest at 15.89.
  • For people who have never smoked: Utah has the highest at 75.33 and Maine has the lowest at 48.22.

State-level Smoking Statistics: the percent of daily smokers is falling across all states.

But roughly 36.5 million U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes. 

Recent data is hopeful, with the proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes declining from 20.9% in 2005 to 15.1% in 2015. This decline is in line with the goal of Healthy People 2020, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which aims to reduce cigarette smoking prevalence to at or below 12 percent. Despite this progress, smoking remains a major health crisis, with 36.5 million U.S. adults currently smoking cigarettes.

Source for state smoking statistics:

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