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Patterns of tobacco use

Nancy A Rigotti, MD
Section Editor
James K Stoller, MD, MS
Deputy Editor
Judith A Melin, MA, MD, FACP


Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States and worldwide. Most smoking-related mortality is due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [1,2]. Tobacco use also increases the risk of many other acute and chronic diseases, including cancers at many sites other than the lung (table 1). Smoking cessation is associated with clear health benefits and should always be a major health care goal [3]. Screening all patients for tobacco use and providing all smokers a brief smoking cessation intervention are among the most cost-saving clinical preventive services [4].

Usage of non-cigarette forms of tobacco is increasing in the United States, and 40 percent of users of tobacco use tobacco in more than one form [5].

The prevalence and patterns of tobacco use in the United States are reviewed here.

The risks of smoking and an overview of smoking cessation are discussed separately:

(See "Cardiovascular risk of smoking and benefits of smoking cessation".)


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 07, 2017.
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