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The following statistics will help illustrate the smoking problem and the extent to which it impacts children.

  1. 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)

  1. Tobacco-related illness costs the S. around $193 billion each year in health care and lost productivity. (ibid)

  1. 85% of lung cancers are caused by smoking. (ibid)

Statistics on children exposed to cigarette smoke

  1. According to the Surgeon General, 60% of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke of some type.

  1. 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)

  1. 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)

  1. An average of 4,100 teens will smoke their first cigarette today. (Szabo, 12-9-2010)

  1. 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.

  1. 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)


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