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Smoking Gun

The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health marked the 50th anniversary of the initial report back in 1964. The newer version offers a bevy of smoking-related statistics — some encouraging, some frightening and others downright pathetic. Here’s a list of some of the most notable stats.

  1. Fewer than 20 percent of Americans currently smoke; 50 years ago that number was 42 percent.
  2. Smoking kills about 480,000 Americans a year; it’s still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
  3. 20 million people have died from smoking since 1964; 2.5 million of those individuals are believed to have been nonsmokers dying from exposure to secondhand smoke. 
  4. Smoking costs nearly $280 Billion a year in health care and lost productivity.
  5. About 5.6 millionchildren alive today are expected to die prematurely from smoking, assuming smoking rates persist going forward.