18+ Deadly Smoking Statistics (2020)

Last modified: December 7, 2020

How many people die from smoking? How does smoking influence your cardio? Read our newest collection of smoking statistics to know the answer.

How many people die from smoking? For years, smoking has been one of the world’s leading causes of death, given the fact that the bad habit brings a variety of preventable diseases. It’s believed that roughly 7 million deaths are caused on a yearly basis by smoking. Despite this fact, millions of people continue to smoke. As part of our research into these smoking statistics, we were quick to find that fewer people are starting to smoke today when compared to the early 2000s, yet quitting remains a difficult endeavor that entails strong discipline.

As part of this article, we’ll outline some of the main statistics concerning smoking. As such, the main topics that will be covered include the risks and fatality rates, as well as statistics associated with certain demographics, like the number of teens or pregnant women who smoke, and more.

Quick Smoking Statistics – 2020 

  • Smoking currently causes over 7 million deaths per year.
  • 5.6 million young Americans might die because of smoking.
  • Second-hand smoke causes 1.2 million deaths worldwide.
  • In 2015, 7 out of 10 smokers (68%) reported they wanted to quit completely.
  • Smoking is one of the world’s leading causes of impoverishment.

What percentage of smokers die from smoking?

According to BMC Medicine, 67% of smokers die from smoking-related illnesses, including lung disease, heart disease, and over 13 types of cancer.

What percentage of smokers will get cancer?

The statistics about smoking indicate that roughly 10%–15% of smokers develop lung cancer, whereas the numbers that incorporate all types of cancer are much higher.

What is the average lifespan of a smoker?

Smoking causes a loss of approximately 25 years of life expectancy—most smokers die when they reach middle age.

Which country has the most smokers?

It’s estimated that China has 300.8 million smokers, followed by India with 274.9 million smokers, according to recent smoking statistics.

Smoking & Death Statistics

1. Smoking currently causes over 7 million deaths per year.

Well, it’s not actually the habit of smoking that kills, but rather the preventable illnesses that tobacco use causes. As you’ll see in the following stat, smoking is responsible for many severe illnesses and diseases. If this trend isn’t slowed in the near future, over 8 million people will die yearly by 2030, according to our research into smoking statistics worldwide.

Source: CDC

2. Every year in the US, over 480,000 deaths are caused by smoking.

As you can see, the United States also has a big problem with smoking. This is a major risk because it causes illnesses such as heart disease and lung cancer, both of which take hundreds of thousands of lives on a yearly basis. Additionally, roughly 41,000 deaths resulting from second-hand smoke are reported in the US yearly.

Source: CDC

3. 5.6 million young Americans might die because of smoking.

This is a grim statistic. Research has shown that if the current teen smoking trend continues, roughly 5.6 million youths will die prematurely because of smoking-related illnesses. It’s equally important to keep in mind that many more will suffer from these diseases throughout their lives.

Source: CDC

The numbers are a little higher among men, at 278,544 deaths, whereas the remaining 201,773 deaths are among women, according to the CDC and the smoking statistics they provide.

Source: CDC

5. Second-hand smoke causes 1.2 million deaths worldwide.

There’s a common misconception regarding the dangers associated with second-hand smoke. Numerous people seem to believe that they’re safe from the hazard as long as they never take a hit. Unfortunately, this is not the case—a World Health Organization study has determined that 1.2 million deaths are caused by indirect exposure to tobacco.

Source: WHO

6. Smoking is one of the world’s leading causes of poverty.

This statistic directly applies to countries with low and middle incomes, where the worldwide smoking statistics show the highest numbers. As such, numerous households redirect an important percentage of their monthly earnings toward the deadly habit, rather than focusing on more important spending, such as water, food, and quality health care. Curbing this spending behavior is an impossible task, considering the highly addictive nature of smoking.

Source: WHO

7. Countries featuring a high human development index have seen a decline in smoking.

Starting in the 1960s, smoking has declined in countries with a high HDI. In fact, the number of smoking-related deaths began to lower starting in the 1980s and 1990s. However, this pattern may not last, considering the teenage smoking statistics.

Source: TobaccoAtlas

However, many smokers are merely replacing cigarettes with heated tobacco and vaping. While these activities are considered safer, there’s no clear research into the dangers of e-cigarettes at this point in time.

Source: TobaccoAtlas

9. 5.7 trillion cigarettes were smoked worldwide in 2016.

Further smoking facts indicate that a large percentage of these cigarettes were smoked in highly populous regions, such as the Asian continent, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Africa.

Source: TobaccoAtlas

10. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of worldwide smokers decreased by roughly 29 million.

This is absolutely great news. However, it doesn’t mean that efforts to combat this practice should be slowed down now.

Source: WHO

11. Among the countries helping their population quit smoking, statistics indicate that Columbia will effectively reduce its percentage of smokers down to 6.1% by 2025.

As for other countries trying to reduce their rate of tobacco use, by 2025 Argentina should reach 15.2%, the UK should be 15.2%, Sweden will be 13.5%, Australia will hit 10.4%, and Canada will be 9.2%.

In fact, many countries are setting goals to reduce tobacco use by 30% by 2025. Achieving this goal entails keeping a close watch on who purchases cigarettes to ensure that youths don’t start this habit. In general, better rates can be achieved through public education and higher prices for cigarette packs.

Source: Telegraph

12. The smoking statistics by state show that smokers are most prevalent in West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Ohio.

This statistic was compiled by the US Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System and shows an alarming percentage of smokers in these states.

Source: CDC

13. The top 10 countries where people smoke the least are Ethiopia, Panama, Ghana, Barbados, Ecuador, Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Uganda, Swaziland.

The World Health Organization studied the top countries where residents smoke the least and the most to come up with these countries.

Source: WHO

14. Here are the top 10 countries where people smoke the most: Kiribati, Nauru, Greece, Serbia, Russia, Jordan, Indonesia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lebanon and Chile.

According to the World Health Organization’s cigarette smoking statistics, the United Kingdom and the United States both fall in close to the middle of this list, ranking at 82nd and 89th, respectively.

Source: WHO

15. Native Americans and Alaska Natives smoke the most in the US.

24% of people that fit within this group smoke, followed by multiple-race individuals (20.6%), non-Hispanic blacks (14.9%), and non-Hispanic whites (15.2%).

Source: CDC

16. The use of e-cigs in teens rose to 4.9% in the US.

Current teen smoking statistics are quite alarming. The research shows that middle school and high school students are smoking more: 1 out of 20 students admitted to using an e-cig within the last 30 days, as reported by the CDC.

Source: CDC

17. Overall, 7.2% of US teens report using a tobacco product.

The same study also concluded that 1.8% use traditional cigarettes, 1.6% use cigars, 1.8% use smokeless tobacco, and 1.2% use hookahs. It has also been determined that the relevancy of pipe smoking in health statistics is slowly declining, since only 0.3% of teens have reported using a pipe.

Source: Lung

18. 1 out of 14 women who gave birth during 2016 in the US continued smoking throughout their pregnancy.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has, therefore, determined that roughly 7.2% of women smoke while pregnant. This means more educational efforts are required to lower this percentage. When it comes to smoking during pregnancy, statistics show that doing so leads to a variety of birth defects in newborns, as well as still-births.

Source: CNN

19. In 2015, 7 out of 10 smokers (68%) wanted to quit completely.

Due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine, quitting smoking is very difficult. Fortunately, numerous alternative therapies are now available, leading to higher success rates. Despite this aspect, it takes a strong will, support groups, and education, if you want to quit smoking.

Source: CDC


Based on everything that’s been outlined so far, the last couple of years have brought about improvement in the world’s smoking habits. While fewer people smoke today when compared to the last decade, the habit continues to take millions of lives on a yearly basis. Experts throughout the world are actively looking for ways to further curb this habit. The smoking facts prove that we must prevent people from starting to smoke in the first place while we also help existing smokers decide to quit for good.

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