How Georgia’s smoking rate compares to the nation


Nearly half a million Americans die each year from smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Another 16 million Americans are living with serious illness from smoking. Smoking also has an economic impact, including over $ 225 billion spent annually on medical expenses to treat smoking-related illnesses in the United States and over $ 156 billion in lost productivity.

Although the risks associated with smoking and tobacco use are well established and widely understood, 42.4 million American adults – or 16.6% of the adult population – smoke every or almost every day and have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.

In Georgia, the smoking rate is in line with the national rate. An estimated 16.3% of the population 18 and older in Georgia are smokers, the 23rd lowest smoking rate among states.

States where a large portion of the population smokes often have below average health outcomes, and vice versa – but Georgia is an exception in at least one key measure. Despite an average smoking rate, life expectancy at birth in the state is 77.9 years, compared to 79.2 years nationally.

All of the data used in this story is from the 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report from the joint program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Institute of Population Health.

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