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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in West Virginia 2018

West Virginia cigarette use among adults and high school students

Cigarette use: West Virginia*

  • In 2016, 24.8 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
  • In 2017, 14.4 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8 percent.²

Other tobacco product use: West Virginia

  • In 2015, 3.8 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 4.8 percent used smokeless tobacco and 1.9 percent smoked cigars.³
  • In 2017, 14.3 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, 11.5 percent used smokeless tobacco and 11.4 percent smoked cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rates were 13.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively.²
West Virginia other tobacco product use among adults and high school students

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

  • West Virginia received $332 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.
  • Of this, the state allocated $0 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018 and did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $1.00 billion per year
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $1.23 billion per year

West Virginia tobacco laws

Tobacco taxes

West Virginia 2018 tobacco taxes
  • West Virginia is ranked 33rd in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.20 per pack (enacted July 2016), compared to the national average of $1.73. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
  • E-cigarette liquid is taxed at 7.5 cents per milliliter. All other tobacco products are taxed at 12 percent of the wholesale price.⁶ ⁷

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in schools (public schools only).⁶ ⁷
  • Smoking restrictions are required in government workplaces and childcare facilities.⁶ ⁷
  • There are no smoking restrictions in private workplaces, restaurants, bars, casinos/gaming establishments, retail stores and recreational/cultural facilities.⁶ ⁷

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in West Virginia is 18.
  • Minors and adults are prohibited from possessing, importing, distributing and buying bidis.
  • Minors are prohibited from buying vapor products.⁶ ⁷

Quitting statistics and benefits

  • The CDC estimates that 48.4 percent of daily adult smokers in West Virginia quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.**
  • West Virginia’s state quit line invests $2.21 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.10.
  • West Virginia does not have a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.

Notes and references

Updated June 2018

* National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.

** The seven recommended cessation medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban). Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.

  1. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016.
  2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.
  3. CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Adults - United States, 2014-2015, MMWR.
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later FY2018, 2017.
  5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, 2018.
  6. American Lung Association, SLATI State Reports, 2017.
  7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2018.
  8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings, 2018.
  9. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.