Disease Information

Despite how much we know about the harmful effects of tobacco, 1.2 billion people continue to smoke worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 45.3 million adults smoke. Nearly 6 million people die prematurely as a direct result of tobacco-related causes, and in the U.S., smoking kills nearly 443,000 people per year. Roughly 1 in every 5 deaths each year can be attributed to smoking. Smokers also have a lower quality of life.

Although smoking is often associated with lung disease and cancer, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in smokers.

To understand the relationship between CVD and tobacco use, it’s critical to study tobacco products. The A-TRAC will pair cardiologists, cardiovascular scientists and toxicologists with investigators experienced in tobacco research.

The number of cardiovascular deaths due to smoking (1.69 million deaths) far exceeds smoking-related lung cancer deaths (0.97 million deaths) and pulmonary disease deaths (0.85 million deaths) (3).


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  • Ezzati M, Lopez AD. Estimates of global mortality attributable to smoking in 2000. Lancet. 2003;362:847-852
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