Children and Tobacco: The Facts

Facts on Tobacco-Related Illnesses

Each year more than 400,000 Americans die from a tobacco-related illness, the number one preventable cause of death in the United States.1 More lives are lost to tobacco than those caused by fires, alcohol, suicides, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs, and homicides, combined. Most of these deaths occur in adulthood, but the damage begins at the onset of smoking which in about 90 percent of the cases, begins at or before the age of 18.

". . . [F]rom a public-health standpoint, keeping kids away from cigarettes is the single most effective way to fight the nation's leading preventable cause of death."
-- "Hooked on Tobacco: The Teen Epidemic," Consumer Reports, March 1995.


1. Unless otherwise noted, all data is taken from the 1994 U.S. Surgeon General's Report.

2. Food and Drug Administration statement, July 13, 1995.

3. Journal of the American Medical Association, March 8, 1995.

4. "Cigarette Smoking Increases Risk of Stroke In Young Adults," AMA Brief Reports, June 20, 1990.

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