17 Educational Infographics to Learn About Smoking & Public Health

While the hazardous news about smoking cigarettes has made its rounds from generation to generation, people still purchase cigarettes and they still smoke them. While smokers may have a death wish or they may become addicted, the people who do not smoke are affected as well with what is known as second-hand smoke. The following statistics show how tobacco is used globally and nationwide, and how smoking affects the public as a whole.

When you click on the images or links below, you can learn more about each smoking and second-hand smoke issue. In many reports, it appears that many smokers would like to quit, but that those smokers often cannot afford or know about smoking cessation programs and aids. Doctors and Nurse Practitioners are encouraged to teach patients about smoking-cessation programs and aids and to instruct patients and their families about the health issue involved with smoking and second-hand smoke.


  1. Global cigarette useSmoking Contributes to Top Six of Eight Causes of Death: At the world’s current population, about 57 million people die each year. Smoking contributes to six of the top eight killers. This chart shows tobacco usage globally (Russia tops the list with over 59 million smokers, and the U.S. falls in the top of the bottom third, with 57.2 million users), and how tobacco use contributes to the top eight causes of death.
  2. Income levels and smoking useSmoking More Prevalent in Low-Income Countries and Homes: Globally, the use of tobacco products has increased, although it is decreasing in high-income countries. More than 80 percent of the world’s smokers live in low- and middle-income countries. In this chart, is shows that the likelihood of smoking generally increases as annual incomes decrease in the U.S.
  3. Women show increase incidence of lung cancerTobacco Use in U.S. decreased 1900-2002; Lung Cancer Death Rates Increased for Women: According to this chart, U.S. consumption of cigarettes has decreased between 1900-2002, as well as the age-adjusted lung cancer death rates for men. For women, however, lung cancer rates have increased over time.
  4. Prevalence of smoking 2007-2008Current Smoking Patterns Basically Unchanged from 2007-2008: According to this report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking prevalence did not change significantly from 2007 to 2008. And, smoking prevalence was highest among adults who had earned a General Education Development certificate (GED), while smoking prevalence was lowest among adults with a graduate degree.
  5. Map of tobacco bansU.S. Slow on Tobacco Bans: This map from 2007 shows the countries (in blue) that ratified the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The countries shown in red have signed the convention, yet failed to ratify it. This includes the entire U.S. On a state-by-state basis, however, there is more progress, as you’ll learn when you click on the image.
  6. Correlation of tobacco usage and cost per packDo Higher Prices per Pack Contribute to Less Smoking? This map, contributed by GOOD magazine, shows where people are smoking in the U.S., and the average cost of a pack of cigarettes. Is there a correlation between higher prices and less smoking? In Wisconsin, where cigarettes cost $5.01 per pack, the number of smokers per population is 20.8 percent. In Kentucky, where cigarettes cost $2.90 per pack, the concentration of smokers per population is 28.6 percent.
  7. Health costs in West VirginiaSmoking-Attributable Health Care Costs Rise in West Virginia: This chart shows a distinct rise in health care costs in West Virginia between 1998 and 2004, all directly attributable to smoking. Adjustments were made for Consumer Price Index inflation used for Leonard Miller model and medical information used for the Vincent Miller model.
  8. Deaths from cigarette smokeNumbers for U.S. Deaths Attributable to Smoking: The numbers on this chart show that about 443,000 U.S. deaths each year are directly attributable to smoking. The largest problem, according to these statistics, is the prevalence of lung cancer, with ischemic heart disease close second. This chart, however, does not indicate any deaths caused by second-hand smoke.
  9. Work at reducing number of smokers in U.S.Smoking is Single Most Preventable Cause of Disease and Death in U.S.: According to the statistics provided by the Healthy People 2010 government site, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking results in more deaths each year in the United States than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, and fires combined. This chart shows the goals of the government to reduce the number of adolescent and adult smokers in 2010.
  10. Navy women who smoke do not get ahead.Navy Women Smokers Found to Produce Less in Workplace: In a recent study on women in the Navy, it was discovered that women who came in as daily regular smokers were less likely to finish their full term of enlistment, they had early attrition, more demotions, more desertions and more unauthorized leaves of absence than non-smoking women in the Navy. The smokers in this study also achieved a lower overall pay grade.
  11. Lack of help in quitting smokingDo As I Say, But Do It On Your Own: This chart shows that 47.9 percent of smokers were advised to quit smoking, yet only 27.5 percent were offered help to quit smoking by healthcare professionals during the past 12 months. To be effective, advice to quit smoking must also include offers of assistance.
  12. Few dollars for cessation programs nationwide.Tobacco Companies Spend More on Advertising than States Spend on Prevention and Cessation: In the fiscal year 2010, the U.S. states will collect $25.1 billion from tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, and will spend just 2.3 percent of it on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. When federal grants are added to the mix, the total funding for state tobacco prevention programs nationwide comes to $629.5 million. When you click on the image to the right to learn more, you’ll discover that tobacco companies spend, on average, $20 on marketing for every $1 that states spend on anti-smoking efforts.
  13. Tobacco companies spend billions on advertisements.How Much Do Tobacco Companies Spend on Advertising: These statistics from 2005 show that tobacco companies peaked with advertising costs in 2003, but that advertising expenditures in 2005 were still more than the $12.7 billion spent three years earlier in 2002. The image links to an article that compares cigarette vendors to drug pushers.

Secondhand Smoke

  1. Thousands of toxins in second-hand smokeSecondhand Smoke Contains More than 4,000 Chemicals: this chart, provided by the CDC, shows the chemicals, toxic metals and poison gases that are contained in secondhand smoke. Many of these chemicals are toxic and cause cancer. You can find a list of these chemicals at Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
  2. Second hand smokers may be more at risk for cancer than smokers.Passive Smokers at Risk: Numerous studies suggest that a passive smoker, or a non-smoker who inhales second-hand smoke from a smoker on a constant basis, runs the risk of a 25 percent increase in lung cancer and heart disease compared to people who have never inhaled second-hand smoke.
  3. More second hand smokers are exposed to chemicals than smokersNumber of People Exposed to Second-Hand Smoke Higher than the Number of Smokers: According to the CDC in this chart, the number of adult U.S. cigarette smokers equals 45 million, whereas the number of nonsmoking Americans exposed to second-hand smoke accounts for 126 million people. At least 22 million U.S. children aged 3-11 years are exposed to second-hand smoke.
  4. Second-hand smoke costs in dollars and deaths.Secondhand Smoke Costs in Dollars and Deaths: Second-hand smoke is responsible for nearly $10 billion annually in costs and creates numerous adverse health effects for nonsmokers. Second-hand smoke is responsible for more than 70 thousand nonsmoker deaths from coronary heart disease and lung cancer.