Associated Press Published

National Report: West Virginia Ranks 24th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco


West Virginia ranks 24th in the country in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations. 

West Virginia is spending $4.9 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is just 17.8 percent of the $27.4 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In contrast, tobacco companies spend an estimated $130.4 million to market their products in West Virginia each year. That means tobacco companies spend $27 to promote tobacco use for every $1 West Virginia spends to prevent it.

This giant gap is undermining efforts to save lives and health care dollars by reducing tobacco use, the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, the report warns.

The report, titled “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 17 Years Later,” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and Truth Initiative.