Martinsburg, W.Va. - Smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death and disease in WestVirginia and the United States.
- 26.9% or 387,000 West Virginia adults are current cigarette smokers.
- 3,800 WV adults (age 35 and older) die each year of smoking-related diseases.
- 1 in 5 WV deaths are caused by cigarette smoking (of adults age 35 and older).
- WV smokers who died lost an average 14 years of life due to premature death.
- Direct health care costs total $1.3 billion annually in WV.
- Worker productivity losses total $1.1 billion annually in WV.
- Each WV smoking-related death equals an average of $288,000 in lost wages.
- These costs total $2.4 billion annually for West Virginia!
- This equals $6,236 for each smoker and/or $1,323 annually for each WV resident.
- In WV, secondhand smoke is responsible for 290 to 510 deaths a year and $38.3 million in heath care expenditures. All due to the involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.
The costs of tobacco use can take a toll on individuals, their families, businesses and the community as a whole.
West Virginia University Hospitals-East, the Berkeley County Health Department and the American Cancer Society are working together to form A Tobacco Awareness Coalition (ATAC). The goal of ATAC is to create awareness of tobacco issues that face our community. Coalition activities will center on creating awareness of the health issues related to tobacco use, prevention of use, cessation programs, and environmental issues.
West Virginia University Hospitals-East is committed to fulfilling its mission of improving the health status of Eastern Panhandle residents. Joining forces with the Berkeley County Health Department and the American Cancer Society to form this coalition with strengthen the efforts.
Any organization or individual in the community that is interested in joining the efforts is invited to attend an ATAC Kick-Off meeting on Friday, March 18 @ 12 noon in the 2nd floor conference room of the Dorothy McCormack Center on the campus of City Hospital. To register for this meeting, call (304) 267-5032 or email email@example.com by March 16. A healthy, light lunch will be served.