It Is Past Time for Meaningful Action on Tobacco Control

West Virginia Tops the Nation in Tobacco Use Rates. West Virginia Can and Must Do Better.

January 11, 2023

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – As lawmakers dive into the 2023 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges legislators to prioritize increasing tobacco control funding and raising the state’s tobacco taxes which will ease the burden of cancer in West Virginia where 36.1% of cancer deaths are due to smoking, the second highest rate in the country. Significant tobacco tax increases, along with well-funded tobacco control programs, are two of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.

“ACS CAN is calling on the legislature to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with a parallel tax on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which would generate revenue, protect kids, and save lives,” said Doug Hogan, ACS CAN government relations director. “Furthermore, investing $16.5 million in revenue from the tax increases in fact-based tobacco control programs will help prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help people already addicted to quit.”

West Virginia has the highest tobacco use rates in the nation, with 22% of adults smoking cigarettes and over 40% of high school students using tobacco products. We can and we must do better.  Everyone deserves to live tobacco-free lives in cleaner, safer, healthier communities. It is past time for West Virginia to take meaningful action to reduce the toll of tobacco in the state. 



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting

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