Toll of Tobacco in the United States

The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina

Updated April 15, 2016

The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina

High school students who smoke 15.0% (78,300)
Male high school students who use smokeless or spit tobacco 13.6% (females use much lower)
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 6,800
Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year 16.0 million
Adults in North Carolina who smoke 19.1% (1,462,300)


U.S. National Data

High school smoking rate (2013): 15.7%
Male high school students who use smokeless tobacco (2013): 14.7%
Adult smoking rate (2014): 16.8%


Deaths in North Carolina from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 14,200
Kids now under 18 and alive in North Carolina who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 180,000

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use.

Smoking-Caused Monetary Costs in North Carolina

Annual health care costs in North Carolina directly caused by smoking $3.81 billion
Medicaid costs caused by smoking in North Carolina $931.4 million
Residents' state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures $874 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in North Carolina $4.24 billion

Amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking. Tobacco use also imposes additional costs such as workplace productivity losses and damage to property.

Tobacco Industry Influence in North Carolina

Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide $9.5 billion
Estimated portion spent for North Carolina marketing each year $377.9 million

Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising than adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure. One-third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to tobacco company advertising.

View sources of information.

More detailed fact sheets on tobacco's toll in each state are available by emailing