Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death, but hundreds of Vermonters still die each year from tobacco-related diseases. Countless other lives, including those of friends and families of smokers, are touched by the negative effects of tobacco use in our state.
Tobacco: Still the #1 Real Killer
Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking leads to or complicates asthma, heart disease, cancer, lung diseases, stroke, low birth weight in babies, and infant mortality. Of the estimated 75,500 adult Vermonters who smoked in 2010, half of those who continue will likely die of a smoking-related cause.
Who Smokes and Who Does Not?
About one-third of very low income (31%), and uninsured (35%) adults smoke. Those who did not graduate from high school are more likely
to smoke (39%), and an estimated 38% of adults with mental illness smoke. Also in Vermont, 27% of adults and 19% of youth of racial and ethnic minorities are current smokers, compared to 17% of adults and 13% of white non-Hispanic youth.
Exposure to Smoke = Smoking
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, yet 43% of adult nonsmokers in Vermont report having been exposed recently. Laws and bans on smoking in public places, at home and in the car, lead to quit attempts.
Vermont's Smoke-free Laws
Secondhand tobacco smoke can result in eye and throat irritation, and increase the risk of lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart attacks. Vermont's smoke-free laws protect the public from the health risks of secondhand smoke. Learn more
Radon and Smoking Risks don't add up...they multiply
If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your risk of getting lung cancer is especially high. The EPA estimates that 86% of radon-related lung-cancer deaths occur among current or former smokers.
- Learn more: Radon, Smoking, and Lung Cancer
Most Smokers Try to Quit
Quitting has almost immediate health benefits, but it can take many tries before a smoker can quit successfully. Every year since 2004, more than half of all smokers in Vermont have made a quit attempt.
When you decide to quit, free services from 802Quits.org can help you find success. Best of all, through 802Quits you can get free nicotine replacement - gum, patches or lozenges - shipped right to your door (while supplies last). Visit 802Quits.org.
Healthy Vermonters 2020 is the state health assessment plan that documents the health status of Vermonters and will guide the work of public health through 2020.
- Reduce youth smoking
- Reduce adult smoking
- Increase the number of adults who attempt to quit smoking
- Reduce exposure to second-hand-smoke
The Healthy Vermonters Toolkit includes a Performance Dashboard so you can see our real-time data on "how we're doing."