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Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.

Elizabeth Agius,
Evaluation and Research Center for Social Work Research
Wayne State University

Did you know roughly 6 million people around the world die every year from smoking? By 2030, this is likely to increase to more than 8 million every year. [1]

In the U.S., 480,000 people die from smoking every year. And 41,000 people die from secondhand smoke. This means one in five people will die every year from smoking (1,300 deaths every day). [2]

In Michigan, 16,200 smokers die every year. And 8,100 youth become new smokers. [3]

On average, smokers die 10 years sooner than nonsmokers. [4] Some populations smoke at higher rates than others. These groups include:

  • People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)
  • People living with a significant mental illness

The smoking rate for PLWHA is 50% (MDHHS, Tobacco Section, 2015). This group smokes 21/2 times more than the population in Michigan. People who are HIV+ and smoke die 12 years sooner from smoking than from AIDS (M. Helleberg, 2013).

People with a mental illness who smoke die 25 years sooner than the general population. [5] Smoking can cause and worsen a mental illness. This group smokes 44.3% of all cigarettes in the U.S. [6]

If the current smoking rate continues, 5.6 million teens, 18 years of age or younger, are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. [7]

1., 7. World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011.

2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.

3. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

4. Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:341–50

5. National Association of State Mental Health Board Directors 2006 report

6. JAMA. 2000 Nov 22-29;284(20):2606-10. Smoking and mental illness: A population-based prevalence study. Lasser K, Boyd JW, Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU, McCormick D, Bor DH.