Cost of Tobacco

Tobacco related costs impact everyone in West Virginia. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids:

The Toll of Tobacco in West Virginia
(National Comparison)

High school students who smoke:
14.4% (12,300)
Male high school students who smoke cigars:
High school students who use e-cigarettes:
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year:
Adults in West Virginia who smoke:
25.3% (364,700)

Proportion of cancer deaths in West Virginia attributable to smoking: 32.6%

Deaths in West Virginia from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking:
Kids now under 18 and alive in West Virginia who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking: 

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use.

Smoking-Caused Monetary Costs in West Virginia

Annual health care costs in West Virginia directly caused by smoking:
$1.00 billion
Medicaid costs caused by smoking in West Virginia:
$277.3 million
Residents’ state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures:
$1,159 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in West Virginia:
$1.23 billion

Amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking. Tobacco use also imposes additional costs such as workplace productivity losses and damage to property.

Tobacco Industry Influence in West Virginia

Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide:
$9.1 billion
Estimated portion spent for West Virginia marketing each year
$103.8 million

Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising as adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure. One-third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to tobacco company advertising.

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More detailed fact sheets on tobacco’s toll in each state are available by emailing [email protected]

Last updated Jan. 31, 2020