Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content






Tobacco-Free UCM

Smoking

  • In 2005, 360 billion cigarettes were consumed in the United States

  • People who die each year from their own cigarette smoking: approx. 400,000

  • Adult nonsmokers who die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke: approx. 50,000

  • Kids under 18 alive today who will ultimately die from smoking (unless smoking rates decline): 6,000,000+

  •  People in the USA who currently suffer from smoking-caused illness: 8.6 million

  • Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.

  • Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD deaths.

  • Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined.

  • The health damage of a pack of cigarettes a day is about the same as carrying around 60 or more extra pounds of fat.

  • Every year, almost 10,000 Missourians die from tobacco-related diseases (dhss.mo.gov).

American Lung Association: Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet

Smokeless Tobacco

  • Smokeless tobacco products are not a safe substitute for tobacco smoking. Harmful health effects include:

    • oral cancer

    • pancreatic cancer

    • leukoplakia (white sores in the mouth that can become cancer)

    • receding gums (gums slowly shrink away from around the teeth)

    • bone loss around the roots of the teeth

    • abrasion (scratching and wearing down) of teeth

    • tooth loss

    • stained teeth

    • Leukoplakia is a white sore or patch in the mouth that can become cancerous. Almost 3 out of 4 of daily users of moist snuff and chewing tobacco have non-cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions (sores) in the mouth.

American Lung Association: Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet

Hookah

  • Compared to a single cigarette, hookah smoke is known to contain: higher levels of arsenic, lead, and nickel, 36 times more tar, 15 times more carbon monoxide.

  • Smoking a hookah requires taking longer and harder drags, increasing levels of inhaled nicotine and carcinogens in the lungs.

  • The longer the hookah session, the more nicotine and toxins one takes in.

  • A 45 to 60 minute hookah session exposes the smoker to approximately the same amount of tar and nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.

  • Sharing mouthpieces without washing them can increase the risk of spreading colds, flu, and infections—even oral herpes.

  • Health risks of smoking hookahs include cancer, heart disease, lung damage, and dental disease.

American Lung Association: Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet

Secondhand Smoke

  • The 2006 Surgeon General's Report on secondhand smoke concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Short-term exposure can potentially increase the risk of heart attacks.2

  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.3

  • A 2009 report by the Institute of Medicine confirmed that secondhand smoke is a cause of heart attacks, and concluded that relatively brief exposure could trigger a heart attack.4

  • Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 deaths from lung cancer and 22,700 to 69,600 deaths from heart disease each year.5

  • Research into previously secret tobacco industry documents reveals that research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed these findings during the next two decades.

American Lung Association: Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet

Cost of Smoking

  • Total annual public and private health care expenditures caused by smoking: $96 billion

  • Annual Federal and state government smoking-caused Medicaid payments: $30.9 billion

  • Federal government smoking-caused Medicare expenditures each year: $27.4 billion

  • Other federal government tobacco-caused health care costs (e.g. through VA health care): $9.6 billion

  • The average household has to pay $630 extra in taxes for the burden of smoking-caused gov’t spending.

  • The tobacco industry spends over $20 million annually lobbying congress.

Tobacco and the Environment

  • Multiple litter studies have shown that when counting litter on a per-item basis, cigarette butts are the number one littered item on U.S. roadways and waterways

  • Cigarette butts are poisonous when ingested by children and other living organisms, as evidenced by poison control center data, veterinary literature, and national reports

    • Cigarettes contain from 9 to 30 mgs of nicotine, and butts contain 0.1 to 1.5mgs.13 Therefore, ingestion of just one cigarette butt could be toxic to children, and ingestion of an entire cigarette could potentially be lethal.

    • o In 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 7,310 reports of potentially toxic exposures to tobacco products among children younger than six years of age in the U.S.14 Most cases of nicotine poisoning among these children resulted from their ingestion of cigarettes or chewing tobacco.

    • o Between 2002 and 2007, over 2,000 non-fatal, unintentional cigarette-related injuries to children aged four years and under occurred per year in the U.S.; 29% of these involved poisonings

Legacy for Health.org

Impact of Tobacco on Missouri

  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports that smoking is the most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in Missouri. Approximately 10,000 Missourians die every year from tobacco-related illnesses, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

  • Approximately $2 billion is spent every year in Missouri to treat smoking-related illnesses.

  • It is estimated that a 25% reduction in smoking prevalence in Missouri would equate to a $5-11 million savings in adult Medicaid costs.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids