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Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Tobacco use in West Virginia 2019

Cigarette use: West Virginia

Cigarette use in West Virginia

  • In 2017, 26.0% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1%.1
  • In 2017, 14.4% of high school students in West Virginia smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8%.2
Cigarette use in West Virginia graph

Other tobacco product use: West Virginia

E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use in West Virginia

  • In 2017, 5.7% of adults used e-cigarettes and 8.9% used smokeless tobacco.3
  • In 2017, 14.3% of high school students in West Virginia used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 13.2%.2
  • In 2017, 11.5% of high school students in West Virginia used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 5.5%.2
  • In 2017, 11.4% of high school students in West Virginia smoke cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.0%.2
Other tobacco product use in West Virginia graph

Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control

Economics of tobacco use in West Virginia

  • West Virginia received $238 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2019.4
  • Of this, the state allocated $0 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2019, which is 0% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.4
  • Smoking-caused health care costs: $1.00 billion per year.4
  • Smoking-caused losses in productivity: $1.23 billion per year.5
Cigarette tobacco tax in West Virginia graph

West Virginia tobacco laws

Cigarette tax in West Virginia

Tobacco taxes

  • West Virginia is ranked 34th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.20 per pack (enacted July 2016), compared to the national average of $1.81. (The District of Columbia has the highest tax at $4.50 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)6-8
  • E-cigarette liquid is taxed at 7.5 cents per milliliter.
  • All other tobacco products are taxed at 12% of the wholesale price.6,7

Clean indoor air ordinances

  • Smoking is prohibited in 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
  • E-cigarette use is prohibited in schools and on school grounds except those areas not used for instructional purposes and inaccessible to students. It is also prohibited in state-owned vehicles.9

Youth access laws

  • The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in West Virginia is 18.7
  • The possession, importation, distribution and sale of bidis to both minors and adults is prohibited.6
  • Minors are prohibited from buying vapor products.6,7

Quitting statistics and benefits

Quitting statistics in Wet Virginia

  • The CDC estimates 47.5% of daily adult smokers in West Virginia quit smoking for one or more days in 2017.3
  • In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
  • West Virginia’s state quit line invests $1.04 per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.21.7
  • West Virginia does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.7

Notes and references

Updated April 2019

*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, 2017.

2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.

3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2017.

4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 20 Years Later FY2019, 2018.

5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States.

6. American Lung Association, State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues (SLATI).

7. American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2019.

8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings.  https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf.

9. Public Health Law Center. U.S. E-Cigarette Regulation: 50-State Review.  http://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/resources/us-e-cigarette-regulations-50-state-review.