Tobacco is associated with six of the top 10 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. These groups also have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use.

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 it only includes deaths of people who smoke cigarettes. Deaths connected to secondhand smoke exposure and burns brings the burden of cigarette smoking deaths in Washington closer to 8,700.

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

The percent of youth smoking cigarettes in Washington State is at a new low, but after factoring in the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, overall use of products containing nicotine has remained constant.

The percent of 10th-grade students who used electronic cigarettes quintupled from 3.9 percent in 2012 to 21.2 percent in 2018. The percent of 10th grade students who used cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, or e-cigarettes increased from 16.3 percent in 2012 to 22.6 percent in 2018.

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