W.Va. Gets An "F" For Smoking Cessation

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

West Virginia gets an "F" when it comes to smoking cessation.

Healthcare experts say the state made no progress in reducing tobacco related deaths.

Dr. Dick Wittberg of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department says when you look at how little is being done when it comes to smoking in the Mountain State, it's a real problem.

With poor funding of tobacco prevention and no movement on clean indoor air regulation, he questions whether the commitment to make a change is even there.

"If the West Virginia Legislature would raise the tobacco tax at least to the national average - that would be a dollar a pack - it would have such a beneficial impact," he says. "I don't know that there's anything that the legislature could do this year that would have a more beneficial impact on the health of West Virginia."

Wittberg says you would have an enormous number of people who would quit smoking and many young people who wouldn't start in the first place.

He says the rest of society is supplementing the costs of tobacco users and he doesn't think it's fair.

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