Toll of Tobacco in the United States

The Toll of Tobacco in Kentucky

Updated March 1, 2017

The Toll of Tobacco in Kentucky

High school students who smoke 16.9% (38,500)
Male high school students who smoke cigars (female use much lower) 17.1%
High school students who use e-cigarettes 23.4%
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 3,200
Adults in Kentucky who smoke 25.9% (884,000)
Proportion of cancer deaths in Kentucky attributable to smoking 34.0%


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 Kentucky from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 8,900
Kids now under 18 and alive in Kentucky who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 119,000

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 Kentucky

Annual health care costs in Kentucky directly caused by smoking $1.92 billion
Medicaid costs caused by smoking in Kentucky $589.8 million
Residents' state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures $1,168 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in Kentucky $2.79 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 Kentucky

Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide $9.1 billion
Estimated portion spent for Kentucky marketing each year $266.2 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