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Tobacco use in West Virginia 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in West Virginia was 25.7%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 18.8% of high school students (19.2% of male high school students and 18.4% of female high school students) in West Virginia smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.8% of high school students smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Graph showing smoking rates in West Virginia compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in West Virginia was 8.5% in 2014.
  • In 2015, 13.4% of high school students in West Virginia used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 7.3% of high school students used smokeless tobacco on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 13.9% of high school students in West Virginia smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.3% of high school students smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 31.2% of high school students in West Virginia used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 24.1% of high school students used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Graph showing other tobacco product use among High School students in West Virginia

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, West Virginia allocated $3.0 million in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 11.1% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • West Virginia received an estimated $259.2 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in West Virginia, directly caused by smoking, amount to $1.00 billion annually.
  • West Virginia loses $1.23 billion in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXWest Virginia cigarette tax

  • The state tax increased to $1.20 per pack of cigarettes in July 2016. West Virginia is ranked 33rd in the United States for its cigarette tax. The national average cigarette tax is $1.71 per pack of cigarettes. The highest state cigarette tax is New York ($4.35) and the lowest state cigarette tax is Missouri ($0.17).
  • E-cigarette liquid is taxed 7.5 cents per milliliter. All other tobacco products are taxed 12% of the wholesale price.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking is prohibited in public schools only.
  • Smoking restrictions are required in childcare facilities and government workplaces.

YOUTH ACCESS LAWS

  • The minimum age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products is 18, and penalties exist for both minors and merchants who violate this law. 
  • The possession, importation, distribution, and sale of bidis to both minors and adults is prohibited.  
  • The sale of vapor products to minors is prohibited.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 51.5% of adult every day smokers in West Virginia tried to quit smoking for one or more days in 2015.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires all Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications beginning January 1, 2014.  
  • West Virginia’s state quitline invests $8.83 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • West Virginia has no private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

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*last updated: May 1, 2017