The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina
High school students who smoke3.9% (22,000)
High school students who use e-cigarettes23.8%
Male high school students who smoke cigars (female use much lower)N/A
Kids (under 18) who try cigarettes for the first time each year17,200
Adults in North Carolina who smoke14.5% (1,218,500)
Proportion of cancer deaths in North Carolina attributable to smoking32.2%


U.S. National Data
High school smoking rate (2023):1.9%
Male high school students who smoke cigars (2023):2.3%
High school students who use e-cigarettes (2023):10.0%
Adult smoking rate (2022):11.6%


Deaths in North Carolina from Smoking
Adults who die each year from their own smoking14,200

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$4.42 billion
Medicaid costs caused by smoking in North Carolina$1.00 billion
Residents' state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures$814 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in North Carolina$10.8 billion

Amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, or use of non-cigarette tobacco products. Productivity losses are from smoking-caused premature death and illness that prevent people from working. Tobacco use also imposes costs such as damage to property.


Tobacco Industry Influence in North Carolina
Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide$8.6 billion
Estimated portion spent for North Carolina marketing each year$429.6 million

Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising as 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

Last updated Apr. 17, 2024