Tobacco use takes a huge toll on the people of West Virginia. About 19% of all deaths (or nearly 1 in 5) of WV adults age 35 and older are caused by tobacco use. The state spends over $900 million a year on the direct health care costs of smoking. Although West Virginia’s tobacco control program has seen some success, including reductions in youth tobacco use, West Virginia still has some of the highest rates in the nation. Even more alarmingly, we have the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy in the country at 29.3%. Unfortunately, the state funds less than 19% of the CDC recommended level for tobacco prevention--and it shows in our smoking rates. Our kids deserve better than a future of tobacco addiction! Urge your lawmakers to make tobacco prevention a priority in West Virginia!
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