Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits for you and your loved ones.
Tobacco use in West Virginia:
The consequences of tobacco use are well known to West Virginians, yet residents continue to use tobacco in alarming numbers.
While West Virginia is aggressively addressing the problem by implementing evidence-based tobacco control programs through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Tobacco Prevention, annual federal and state funding for these efforts has dramatically decreased over the past five years to $1.595 million annually.
West Virginia Tobacco Use Statistics:
West Virginia continues to have the highest reported adult smoking rates in the nation: 25.2% of adults living in West Virginia are current smokers - smoking every day or some days. The national smoking prevalence for adults is 11.5% (BRFSS, 2022).
Gender - Men: 13.1% and Women: 10.1% reported current smoking in 2022 (national data)
Age - The prevalence of smoking is higher among those aged 18-54 than those aged 55 and older. The prevalence of smoking is significantly lower among those 55-64 (26.7%) and those aged 65 and older (13.9%) than among any other age group. The prevalence of smoking is highest in the 25-34 age group (34.8%).
Education - The prevalence of smoking is lowest among college graduates (11.3%) and is significantly lower than all other education groups. Adults with less than a high school diploma have the highest prevalence of current cigarette smoking (44.2%), and the prevalence is significantly higher than all other education groups.
The WV Division of Tobacco Prevention collaborates with the WV Bureau for Behavioral Health in providing assistance to improve tobacco cessation policies in behavioral health centers throughout the state. The Bureau for Behavioral Health has an online Clearing House which aims to provide agencies and practitioners with valuable information regarding the level of effectiveness for various interventions. Information regarding the efficacy of programs throughout West Virginia is included in this database. Practitioners are invited to request review of programs that are not currently listed in the clearinghouse. For the press release announcing the Clearing House click here.