Get the facts on the use of tobacco, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, pipe tobacco, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. Although the adult smoking rate has declined to about 17%, currently more than 40 million Americans smoke. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke account for more than 480,000 deaths annually in the United States. Learn more about the effects of tobacco use and find related tobacco-related fact sheets at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fast tobacco facts.
Tobacco and Behavioral Health
People with mental and/or substance use disorders account for 40% of all cigarettes smoked in the United States. Research shows that quitting smoking can improve mental health and addiction recovery outcomes. To reduce the disparate use of tobacco by people with behavioral health conditions, SAMHSA recommends the adoption of tobacco-free facility/grounds policies and the integration of tobacco treatment into behavioral healthcare. For more information, download SAMHSA’s Tobacco and Behavioral Health: The Issue and Resources (PDF | 321 KB).
Quitting is hard. Many people try several times before they quit for good and many former smokers have quit! In fact,today there are more former smokers than current smokers. For free support in quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and visit smokefree.gov/.
Healthcare professionals should check out the Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update, a Public Health Service-sponsored Clinical Practice Guideline.
Tobacco Use Prevention
Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. In fact, according SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 88% of adults who have ever smoked daily report that they first smoked by the age of 18.
The good news is that there are many things that can be done to prevent youth and young adults from using tobacco products. If you are interested in educational materials that explain the negative effects of tobacco use, see CDC's Youth Tobacco Prevention resources. See CDC's State and Community Resources to learn more about effective tobacco control programs, including Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs and the Guide to Community Preventive Service’s analysis of the effectiveness of various community-based interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine which is known to be harmful to the developing brain and should not be used by teens or pregnant women. Little is known at this time about other risks of e-cigarette use. More information is available from the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and smokefree.gov.
SAMHSA’s Synar Program
SAMHSA oversees implementation of the Synar Amendment, which requires states to have laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors. Learn more about the Synar program.
SAMHSA Program Resources
SAMHSA has several other programs that support tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts: