Statistics on Tobacco and Nicotine Trends in the United States
Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are smoked, chewed, or sniffed. Tobacco contains a chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance. Despite its addictive nature, millions of people in the United States have been able to quit smoking.
People consume nicotine in many ways. One method that has gained popularity among young people is vaping. Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), which has become common among teens. E-cigarettes (or “vape pens”) heat a liquid until it becomes a vapor, which is inhaled. The liquid (called e-liquid or “vape juice”) can contain nicotine or marijuana oil.
- Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.
- In 2020, nearly 13 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (12.5%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 30.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.
- Current smoking has declined from 20.9% (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 12.5% (nearly 13 of every 100 adults) in 2020.
*Current smokers are defined as people who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time they participated in a survey about this topic, reported smoking every day or some days.