Smoking Tidbits

US Prevalence

46 million Americans (1 of 4 adults) smoke. Nearly all started smoking before age 20. In addition, 6 million teenagers smoke in the US.

Weight Gain

The average weight gain after someone quits smoking is 4-10 lbs (9-22 kgs)

CNN (Jan 10, 2009)

One of the primary reasons of weight gain after smoking cessation is that when nicotine is no consumed, T3 levels decrease since nicotine increases the conversion of T4 to T3.

Risk of Disease

Cigarette smoking increases risk for cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Those who smoke 1 pack per day have a five fold increase risk of sudden death (death with 1 hour in an asymptomatic or an apparently clinical stable individual) as compared to non-smokers. The excessive risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced within 2 years of quitting smoking.

ACSM (2001), ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 4th ed.

Life Expectancy Cost

A smoker can expect to lose 5 minutes and 30 seconds of life expectancy for every cigarette they smoke.

Quitting Smoking with Help

Percent of smokers remaining non-smokers for one year
Quit without aid Quit using nicotine patch Quit using Bupropion
1% 13% 20%


According to a 2015 review of the scientific literature by Public Health England, they conclude that E-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco.

E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely.

McNeill A, Brose LS, Calder R, Hitchman SC, Hajek P, McRobbie H (2015). E-cigarettes: an evidence update, A report commissioned by Public Health England, Public Health England.

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