Tobacco Kills

tips-rose-cancer-sm-934x700CDC TIPS



  • Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drug use, murders, and suicides, combined.4
  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).4
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke quickly damages blood vessels throughout the body and makes blood more likely to clot. This damage can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death. 8
  • Smokeless tobacco is harder to quit than cigarettes. One can of snuff gives you as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes.4



  • In Indiana each year, approximately 1,200 adult nonsmokers die from exposure to secondhand smoke.2
  • Secondhand smoke costs Indiana approximately $1.3 billion in excess medical expenses and premature loss of life, or about $201 per person each year.2
  • Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic, and about 70 can cause cancer. 4
  • In children, secondhand smoke can cause ear infections, more severe asthma, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 2



  • About 1 in 5 Hoosier adults (21.1%) were current smokers in 2016.5
  • Historically, Indiana has ranked highly among all states in adult smoking prevalence. In 2016, Indiana had the 10th highest smoking prevalence among all states and the District of Columbia.5
  • About 4.1% of Hoosier adults were current spit tobacco users in 2016.4
  • Spit tobacco use is substantially higher among men (7.6%) than women (0.7%) in Indiana.6
  • Unfortunately, Marion County’s exceeds the state’s overall rates in all categories including.5
    • lung cancer incidence and mortality
    • heart disease hospital admissions and mortality
    • stroke hospitalization and mortality
    • chronic lower respiratory disease mortality
    • asthma hospitalizations, particularly child asthma hospitalizations.



  • When smokers quit, the risk for a heart attack drops sharply after just 1 year; stroke risk can fall to about the same as a nonsmoker’s after 2-5 years; risks for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half after 5 years; and the risk for dying of lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.8
  • Establishing a smoke-free environment is the only effective way to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. 4
  • Tobacco litter is the most common form of litter and are non-biodegradable, meaning they won’t organically break down from living organisms. 9
  • Indianapolis has passed a law that went into effect on June 1, 2012, this ordinance makes nearly every workplace in Indianapolis smoke-free.