Tobacco use is the main cause of preventable disease and death in Washington State, killing about 7,600 people every year. It is the nation's number one cause of preventable death, killing 480,000 people in the U.S. each year. Another 8.6 million people have a serious illness related to smoking.
Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Health, Washington State has seen significant declines since 1999 in tobacco use and increasing public awareness of the harmful effects of smoking. The Washington Tobacco Facts report (PDF) shows that:
- The number of adult smokers has declined by about 416,000.
- There have been over 197,000 valid calls made to the Washington State Tobacco Quitline.
- 96,000 fewer children smoke. The prevalence of smoking among children has gone down.
- About 1 in 5 women report smoking three months prior to pregnancy.
- Children exposed to secondhand smoke in Washington homes has gone down by 73%.
Tobacco use is not evenly distributed throughout the population of Washington State. Some people in Washington are more likely to smoke than others. Some have higher rates of exposure to secondhand smoke and less access to support resources.
For every person who dies from smoking, 20 more suffer from at least one serious illness related to tobacco. Tobacco use contributes to the start and worsening of chronic diseases. Find out more in the Surgeon General's guide on the devastating effects of smoking (PDF).
Data on Tobacco Use