The following statistics will help illustrate the smoking problem and the extent to which it impacts children.
- Around 443,000 Americans are killed by tobacco each year. Approximately one in every 5 deaths can be attributed to tobacco, whether as a result of firsthand use or secondhand exposure. (Szabo, 12-9-2010)
- Tobacco-related illness costs the S. around $193 billion each year in health care and lost productivity. (ibid)
- 85% of lung cancers are caused by smoking. (ibid)
Statistics on children exposed to cigarette smoke
- According to the Surgeon General, 60% of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke of some type.
- The CDC estimates that nearly 3 million children under the age of six breathe secondhand smoke at home. (Szabo, 7-28-2008) Other surveys have shown that as many as half of all elementary school students have family members who smoke in the home. (Maui News, 9-21-2007)
- Nicotine residues in infants’ hair is 5-times higher even for babies whose parents smoke outside than among non-smoking parents, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Smoking-related chemicals in urine are 7-times higher. (Robbins, 4-10-2015)
- An average of 4,100 teens will smoke their first cigarette today. (Szabo, 12-9-2010)
- Nearly half of nonsmoking kids in middle school and high school encountered secondhand tobacco smoke in 2013, according to a 2016 study by Israel Agaka of the CDC (N=17,000). This was defined as at least one exposure within the past week. Nearly 1 in 4 nonsmoking teens reported daily exposure.
- On a more encouraging note, the percentage of children ages 4 to 11 with any detectable level of blood cotinine, an indicator of exposure to secondhand smoke, declined from 53% in 2007-08 to 42% in 2009-10, according to the annual Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics report. (Healy, 7-15-2013)