The Toll of Tobacco in North Carolina
High school students who smoke 12.1% (65,400)
Male high school students who smoke cigars (female use much lower) N/A
High school students who use e-cigarettes 22.1%
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 3,700
Adults in North Carolina who smoke 17.2% (1,371,000)
Proportion of cancer deaths in North Carolina attributable to smoking 30.5%


U.S. National Data
High school smoking rate (2017): 7.6%
Male high school students who smoke cigars (2017): 9.0%
High school students who use e-cigarettes (2018): 20.8%
Adult smoking rate (2017): 14.0%


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 $787 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 $392.6 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 Nov. 15, 2018