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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Safety Council



According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 480,000 premature deaths in the United States each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths—and an additional 16 million people suffer with a serious illness caused by smoking.In fact,, for every one person who dies from smoking, about 30 more suffer from at least one serious tobacco-related illness. 

Statistics and Trends

National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Drug Time Period Ages 12 or Older Ages 12 to 17 Ages 18 to 25 Ages 26 or Older
Cigarettes (any use) Lifetime 58.50 13.20 53.30 64.70
  Past Year 23.10 8.10 35.00 22.90
  Past Month 19.40 4.20 26.70 20.00
Smokeless Tobacco Lifetime 16.30 5.50 19.60 17.00
  Past Year 4.70 3.50 9.00 4.10
  Past Month 3.40 1.50 5.40 3.20

Cigarette Smoking in the US

Percentage of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who were current cigarette smokers in 2015:

  • 15.1% of all adults (36.5 million people): 16.7% of males, 13.6% of females
    • Nearly 22 of every 100 non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives (21.9%)
    • About 20 of every 100 non-Hispanic multiple race individuals (20.2%)
    • Nearly 17 of every 100 non-Hispanic Blacks (16.7%)
    • Nearly 17 of every 100 non-Hispanic Whites (16.6%)
    • About 10 of every 100 Hispanics (10.1%)
    • 7 of every 100 non-Hispanic Asians (7.0%)

Note: Current cigarette smokers are defined as persons 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.

Thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day.

  • Each day, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
  • Each day, an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.

Many adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking.

  • In 2011:
    • Nearly 7 in 10 (68.9%) adult cigarette smokers wanted to stop smoking.
    • More than 4 in 10 (42.7%) adult cigarette smokers had made a quit attempt in the past year.
  • Approximately 100,000 U.S. smokers are expected to stay quit for good as a result of the 2012 Tips From Former Smokers campaign.

Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Why is Smoking Harmful to Smokers?

  • Smoking negatively impacts Respiratory Health
  • Smoking decreases life longevity by an average of 13-14 years
  • Smoking causes cancer
  • Smoking is more likely to cause Type 2 Diabetes
  • Smoking can negatively impact fertility

Why is Smoking Harmful to Others?

  • Secondhand smoke exposure kills 3000 people each year
  • Secondhand smoke increases risk of lung cancer by 20-30%
  • Secondhand smoke has been correlated to SIDS in babies
  • Babies who breathe secondhand smoke have increased levels of bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Secondhand smoke in children leads to an increase in ear infections, asthma, and respiratory infections

Emergencies: Call 911


Online Alcohol Screening Tool

Where Can I Get Help?

Student Health and Counseling Center: 559.278.2734

Bulldogs for Recovery: 559.278.6727

SAMHSA National Helpline: 800.662.HELP


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Student Health and Counseling Center:

Phone: 559.278.2734

Hours: M-F, 8-5, W, 9-5