Toll of Tobacco in the United States

The Toll of Tobacco in California

Updated March 1, 2017

The Toll of Tobacco in California

High school students who smoke 7.7% (160,200)
Male high school students who smoke cigars (female use much lower) 8.9%
High school students who use e-cigarettes 21.4%
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 12,100
Adults in California who smoke 11.7% (3,512,700)
Proportion of cancer deaths in California attributable to smoking 25.5%


U.S. National Data

High school smoking rate (2015): 10.8%
Male high school students who smoke cigars (2015): 14.0%
Adult smoking rate (2015): 15.1%


Deaths in California from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 40,000
Kids now under 18 and alive in California who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 441,000

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 California

Annual health care costs in California directly caused by smoking $13.29 billion
Medicaid costs caused by smoking in California $3.58 billion
Residents' state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures $727 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in California $10.35 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 California

Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide $9.1 billion
Estimated portion spent for California marketing each year $592.6 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