Tobacco Cost & Usage

Rhode Island Numbers


  • An estimated 1,600 people a year die in Rhode Island from illnesses directly linked to tobacco use;
  • Each year, 900 kids in Rhode Island under age 18 become new daily smokers; half of these kids will eventually die from a tobacco-related illness;
  • Over 1.8 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by kids in Rhode Island each year;
  • More than 58,000 children are exposed at home to secondhand smoke, increasing their risk of respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma, cancer and premature death.


Priority Populations

Tobacco related illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, impact certain population groups at disparate levels than other users. Those differences in health status cannot be explained by biological or genetic factors alone. Priority populations in Rhode Island include:

  • People with low social-economic status;
  • African Americans;
  • Pregnant Women;
  • People with physical and mental disabilities;
  • Hispanic / Latino youth;
  • Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT);



  • Healthcare costs associated with tobacco use are estimated to exceed $500 million annually;
  • 23,000 Rhode Island youth will die prematurely from smoking;
  • The tobacco industry spends more than $23 million annually to market its products in Rhode Island.