Tobacco is associated with six of the top ten leading causes of death including cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and influenza/pneumonia.

Some of these diseases and conditions are more common in certain groups in Washington State including African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, lesbian, gay or bisexual adults, and adults from lower income households.

Current Health Status

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking kills approximately 8,300 adults each year in Washington State. This is an underestimate of the burden of tobacco because this estimate only includes deaths of people who smoke cigarettes. If one were to include deaths attributable to secondhand smoke exposure and burns, the burden of cigarette smoking deaths in Washington is closer to 8,700.

Between 2005 and 2009 there was an average of 47,100 deaths in Washington each year. This means cigarette smoking alone, accounts for nearly one in five (17–19%) Washington State deaths each year.

The percent of youth smoking cigarettes in Washington State is at a new low, but overall use of products that contain nicotine has remained constant or increased. The increase in overall use is largely due to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes.

The percent of 10th grade students who used electronic cigarettes quadrupled from 3.9 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2014. The percent of 10th grade students who used cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes increased from 12.1 percent in 2012 to 20.4 percent in 2014.


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Emerging Issues

Health Equity Concerns

Key Data and Sources

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