The Dangerous Effects of Nicotine Infographic

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The Truth about The Effects of Nicotine

Cigarette smoking is an unhealthy habit that can lead to serious health problems and death. Due to the nicotine in the cigarettes, smoking is an addictive habit that is hard to break after getting started. Taking measures to avoid cigarettes or quit will benefit personal health.

Effects of Nicotine on Youth

Smoking is a problem for America’s youth. Roughly 1,000 children and teenagers under age 18 will start smoking each day. Of those who start smoking, around half will die an average of 13 years earlier than non-smoking peers and 80 percent will continue smoking into adulthood.

High school students are facing a challenge when it comes to cigarettes. Roughly one in four high school students smokes cigarettes regularly.

Smoking Statistics By Age and Race

Smoking cigarettes impacts all age groups and every race around the country. Since many youths continue smoking in adulthood, the rate of smokers in the population remains fairly stable in young and middle-aged adults.

serious girl breaks a cigarette with a focus on the foreground

Around 21.4 percent of the young adult population between ages 18 and 24 years old smoke cigarettes. Smoking between ages 25 and 44 is roughly 23.7 percent of the population. Adults between the ages of 45 and 64 include about 22.6 percent smokers. Seniors older than 65 years old include 9.3 percent smokers.


The rate of smokers is not only impacted by age. Different races also impact the risk of smoking. Among the white population, roughly 22 percent of individuals smoke. The Hispanic population has a lower rate of smokers at 15.8 percent while the black population has similar rates as white individuals at 21.3 percent smokers.

American Indian and Alaskan natives have the highest rate of smokers at 32.4 percent of the group while Asian and Pacific Islanders have the lowest rate of smokers at 9.9 percent of the population.

Education and Gender Statistics of the Effects of Nicotine

Education level and gender impacts the risk of smoking cigarettes. A higher level of education often results in a lower rate of smoking. Educated members of the population have a low percentage of smokers.

Members of the population with a graduate degree only have 5.7 percent smokers and those with an undergraduate degree only have 10.6 percent smokers. A high school diploma or GED accounts for 41.3 percent smokers and adults who have not graduated from high school account for 35.7 percent of smokers.

Gender also plays a role in smoking. Although an estimated 46 million adults smoke cigarettes, men are more likely to smoke than women.

Around 23.1 percent of men smoke as compared to 18.3 percent of women. Unfortunately, one in five women continues smoking during pregnancy, which can have health impacts on an unborn child.

Damage and Illness from Smoking

Human fist breaking cigarettes on white background

Cigarettes are harmful to the human body. Since cigarettes contain around 4,800 chemicals, which include:

  • Ammonia
  • Carbon monoxide
  • and Arsenic

The negative health impact over time is dramatic. A death from cigarette smoking occurs every 6.5 seconds.

Smoking tobacco has killed more than 20 times the rate of murders. Even non-smokers are impacted because roughly 88 million Americans are exposed to second hand smoke each day. Children account for 54 percent of non-smokers who are exposed to second hand smoke.


Cigarettes contain hydrogen cyanide, which is used in prison executions. Smoking causes roughly 50,000 deaths from second hand smoke, 3,400 deaths from lung cancer and 46,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

Each year, roughly 443,000 deaths occur from cigarette related illnesses. Cigarettes account for roughly 30 percent of all cancer deaths and many serious illnesses each year. Cancers of the lungs, voice box, mouth, throat, stomach and other internal organs are often caused by smoking cigarettes.

Smoking is an unhealthy habit that leads to premature death. Due to the high risk of cancer, heart conditions and death, it is best to quit smoking and break the habit.