The first public health report of its kind has revealed nearly 10 times more people die from exposure to toxic air than obesity or road accidents.
Air pollution is linked to 2094 deaths every year in Scotland. Glasgow, with 306 victims, has the highest toll.
Campaigners have urged the Government to make it a priority to tackle the problem.
Hope Street, in Glasgow city centre, has long held the title of Scotland's most polluted street.
Key pollutants called fine particles, or PM2.5s, can travel deep into the lungs, cross into the bloodstream and cause heart and lung diseases, cancers, aggravate asthma and increase chances of premature death.
People with existing lung or heart conditions are at particular risk. Currently, PM2.5 is monitored at only five locations in Scotland.
A report by Public Health England, based on 2010 figures, shows about 360 people die each year in Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen combined, due to poor air quality.
North Lanarkshire has 142 deaths each year linked to air pollution, with 134 in South Lanarkshire and 37 in East Dunbartonshire.
Orkney and Shetland had the lowest number of recorded deaths at 6 each.
The figures confirm earlier findings that removing man-made air pollution would increase everyone's life expectancy across the UK by six months.
Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for environmental group Friends Of The Earth Scotland, said: "For the first time, we have figures on how air pollution is taking its toll on
people in each local
council area in Scotland.
"These confirm that 10 times the number of people are killed off by air pollution as die in road traffic accidents and that air pollution is Scotland's biggest environmental health threat."