Disease Information

Updated:Oct 20,2015
AHA Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center

Despite how much we know about the harmful effects of tobacco, 1.2 billion people continue to smoke worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 45.3 million adults smoke. Nearly 6 million people die prematurely as a direct result of tobacco-related causes, and in the U.S., smoking kills nearly 443,000 people per year. Roughly 1 in every 5 deaths each year can be attributed to smoking.
Smokers also have a lower quality of life.

Although smoking is often associated with lung disease and cancer, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in smokers. 

To understand the relationship between CVD and tobacco use, it’s critical to study tobacco products. The A-TRAC will pair cardiologists, cardiovascular scientists and toxicologists with investigators experienced in tobacco research. 

Disease Information Bar Graph (explanation in text below)

The number of cardiovascular deaths due to smoking (1.69 million deaths) far exceeds smoking-related lung cancer deaths (0.97 million deaths) and pulmonary disease deaths (0.85 million deaths) (3).

Tobacco Cessation Resources


  1. Prevention CfDCa. Current cigarettes smoking prevalence among working adults--United States 2004-2010. 2011
  2. Stewart ST, Cutler DM, Rosen AB. Forecasting the effects of obesity and smoking on U.S. Life expectancy. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:2252-2260
  3. Ezzati M, Lopez AD. Estimates of global mortality attributable to smoking in 2000. Lancet. 2003;362:847-852
    **Pictures courtesy of Bill Longshaw and Graur Codrin / www.freedigitalphotos.net