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

Oxfordian Kissuth
wikimedia Commons

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.

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