Toll of Tobacco in the United States

The Toll of Tobacco in West Virginia

Updated April 15, 2016

The Toll of Tobacco in West Virginia

High school students who smoke 19.6% (17,400)
Male high school students who use smokeless or spit tobacco 27.4% (females use much lower)
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 1,800
Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year 3.6 million
Adults in West Virginia who smoke 26.7% (392,500)


U.S. National Data

High school smoking rate (2013): 15.7%
Male high school students who use smokeless tobacco (2013): 14.7%
Adult smoking rate (2014): 16.8%


Deaths in West Virginia from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 4,300
Kids now under 18 and alive in West Virginia who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 47,000

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 $1,246 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 $9.5 billion
Estimated portion spent for West Virginia marketing each year $129.0 million

Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising than 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.

View sources of information.

More detailed fact sheets on tobacco's toll in each state are available by emailing