Liz McCormick Published

Number of Smoking Adults Declines in W.Va.

Cigarette, tobacco

The number of adults who smoke cigarettes in West Virginia has significantly declined since 2011.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human resources released new data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey by DHHR’s Health Statistics Center that shows a decrease in smoking adults of almost 4 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Head Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health Dr. Rahul Gupta said in a news release this decline is due to the growing number of young adults who never started smoking in the first place.

Gupta says this is a milestone showing the state’s public health efforts in combatting the number of teen smokers.

DHHR says other factors impacting the reduction in adult smokers are indoor clean air regulations, cigarette tax increases, and no-cost tobacco quitline services.

Smoking is known to cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other issues. Smoking-related illness is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

It accounts for more than 480,000 deaths nationally and nearly 4,300 deaths in West Virginia.