Tobacco Facts

Sure, smoking can kill. But before it does, it messes with other aspects of your life. If you know a friend or family member who has questions, share these facts so they can decide for themselves whether tobacco is worth it.

Health Facts:

  • A 20-cigarette-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (about 210 grams) of tar in a year.
  • Smoking kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.
  • Studies show nicotine is addictive in ways similar to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol.
  • On average, people who smoke a pack a day die seven years earlier than people who have never smoked.
  • Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds. Hundreds are toxic and at least 69 cause cancer.
  • Smoke condenses once it's inhaled, and about 70 percent of the tar found in the smoke is deposited in your lungs.
  • Ambergris, otherwise known as whale vomit, is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in manufactured cigarettes.
  • Acetone, better known as "nail polish remover," is also found in cigarettes.
  • Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. That’s about 1 in every 5 deaths.
  • Smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths among both men and women.
  • Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Social Facts:

  • Eight out of 10 Texas teens don’t smoke. Plus, if you don’t smoke during your teen years, you’re less likely to ever smoke.
  • Smoking causes wrinkles.
  • It is illegal for minors (those under 18) to use or possess tobacco products. A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $250.
  • If you’re caught with tobacco, you’ll have to attend a tobacco awareness class or do community service.
  • You can look forward to harsher punishment if you get caught using or possessing tobacco products a second time.
  • Failure to attend a tobacco awareness program or do community service may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

Financial Facts:

  • Tobacco companies spend an estimated $606.6 million on marketing in Texas each year.
  • The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in Texas is $6.69.
  • Smoking costs the U.S. economy $170 billion in direct medical care costs for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity each years.
  • In Texas alone, the costs tied to smoking from direct medical expenses, loss of workplace productivity, and premature deaths total more than $20 billion each year.