In a study conducted for the year 2007-2008, it was found that tobacco smoking actually increased during this period for the first time since 1965. Every other year studied has shown decreases in tobacco smoking since 1965 except for 2007-2008. Of course, this is as a percentage of U.S. adults, not raw numbers. The raw numbers show there are 45.3 million tobacco smokers in the United States.
Worldwide, there are 1.1 billion tobacco smokers and that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billlion by 2025. Those 1.1 billion tobacco users purchase about 10 million cigarettes each and every minute. That’s comes to 15 billion cigarettes every day and 5 trillion cigarettes every year.
Another astonishing fact is that cigarette butts make up approximately 38% of all litter worldwide; they’re considered the biggest litter problem in the United States, where 135,000,000 pounds of butts are discarded each year.
Amongst all countries worldwide, the United States ranks fifth in number of tobacco smokers. In that list, in order from highest number of smokers to lowest is:
- Russian Federation
- United States
Health Impacts of Smoking Tobacco
In the United States, over 400,000 people die every year from tobacco-related disease; that’s about 45 deaths per hour. That number represents 1 in every 5 total deaths in the United States and is the single largest preventable cause of death; higher than AIDS, drugs, homicides, fires and auto accidents combined.
Tobacco is widely known as causing negative affects to nearly every part of the human body. To date, over 4,000 chemical compounds have been identified in tobacco smoke. Out of those, 60 are known or suspected to cause cancer. Those chemicals make up a highly addictive cocktail, leading to a below 3% success rate for smokers looking to quit. It takes the average person 6 tries to quit smoking; every year, 45% of smokers will quit for one day.
In the United States, cigarettes are responsible for fires causing over $6 billion in costs, 2500 injuries and more than 1000 deaths. For every 4 forest fires in the United States, 1 of them was caused by cigarettes.
Economics of Tobacco Smoking
It’s estimated that tobacco smoking costs U.S. companies almost $100 billion annually in lost productivity and nearly that amount in additional health care costs.
The stop-smoking industry is enormous, accounting for $3 billion in consumer spending in 2008, more than double what it was in 2002. These smoking cessation products are thought to have about a 5% success rate (this includes gum, the patch, inhalers, and medication).
The average cost of a pack of tobacco cigarettes has skyrocketed in the past 10 years by 200% to $6 per pack. Forty-four states out of 50 have voted to increase cigarette taxes 90 times during that same period. The tax on a pack of cigarettes is now almost half of the total cost of the pack.
And finally, if a person smokes a pack a day for 50 years, they will spend almost as much money on cigarettes over those 50 years as they will on groceries; about $110,000 on cigarettes and just over $120,000 on groceries.