$6 million lost to tobacco use in Jefferson

CHARLES TOWN — Smoking costs Jefferson County about $6 million annually, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

In West Virginia, health costs and productivity losses for each West Virginia smoker total $4,600 annually. This sum equates to $9 for every pack of cigarettes sold annually in the state, according to the report. The economic cost of tobacco use is estimated to be $1.8 billion annually, with half from direct health care costs and the other half associated with occupational and work productivity costs.

Almost 4,000 West Virginia residents die each year from tobacco use and if current trends continue, more than 40,000 more residents will die by 2020, according to a recent state health report.

“The overall smoking prevalence for Jefferson County is 24.4 percent or 13,053 adults smoking,” said Bruce Adkins of West Virginia of Tobacco Prevention.

The report is entitled West Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Survey and was gathered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the state Health Statistics Center.

According to the report, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in West Virginia.

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