Tobacco use in West Virginia 2021
Cigarette use: West Virginia
Cigarette smoking rates in West Virginia
- In 2020, 22.6% of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 15.5%.1
- In 2019, 13.5% of high school students in West Virginia smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 6.0%.2
Other tobacco product use: West Virginia
Vaping rates in West Virginia
- In 2017, 5.7% of adults in West Virginia used e-cigarettes.3
- In 2020, 8.5% of adults in West Virginia used smokeless tobacco.3
- In 2019, 35.7% 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 32.7%.2
- In 2019, 9.5% 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 3.8%.2
- In 2019, 10.9% 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 5.7%.2
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
West Virginia cigarette tax
- West Virginia received $234.4 million (estimated) in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2021.4
- Of this, the state allocated $445,000 in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2021, which is 1.6% 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
West Virginia tobacco laws
West Virginia smoking laws
- West Virginia is ranked 35th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of $1.20 per pack (enacted July 2016), compared to the national average of $1.91. (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
- Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a license to sell tobacco products.6
- A license is not required to sell e-cigarette products.9
Youth access laws
- Effective December 2019, the United States adopted a law raising the federal minimum age of sale of all tobacco products to 21. Some states have not yet raised their state minimum age of sale, however, the federal law takes precedence. The possession, importation, distribution and sale of bidis to both underage persons and adults is prohibited.6
- Underage persons are prohibited from buying and possessing, tobacco products or tobacco-derived product, including vapor products.6,7, 9
- The sale or distribution of vapor products to underage persons is prohibited. 9
- Vending machine sales of vapor products are restricted to places inaccessible to underage persons. 9
Quitting statistics and benefits
Quitting vaping and smoking in West Virginia
- The CDC estimates 47.0% of daily adult smokers in West Virginia quit smoking for one or more days in 2019.3
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications.7**
- West Virginia’s state quit line invests 64 cent per smoker, compared to the national average of $2.28.7
- West Virginia does not have a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.7
Notes and references
Updated August 2021
*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, 20.
2. CDC, Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System, 2019.
3. CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2021.
4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 22 Years Later FY2021, 2020.
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, 2021.
8. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0097.pdf. Accessed.
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. Accessed.