Associated Press Published

Fewer West Virginia High School Students Lighting Up


Youth tobacco use in West Virginia is declining based on just released data.

The 2013 West Virginia Youth Tobacco Survey indicates that the percentage of high school students who reported they have never tried or used any form of tobacco has gone from a little over 20% in 2000 to 46% in 2013.

The data indicates the programs and outreach efforts by the Bureau for Public Health are working, according to Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health.

In a statement today she attributes much of the anti-tobacco success to the West Virginia teen-led tobacco prevention movement called Raze, which has a membership of  4,000 youth.

Tierney said the improvements that have occurred over the last ten years are worth celebrating. She said we’re not where we want to be as a state, but we are seeing measurable improvements.

The report indicates 18% of West Virginia high school students are smokers, a 52% improvement from 38.5% in 2000.