A new set of data assembled by researchers in West Virginia University’s School of Public Health, in collaboration with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Tobacco Prevention (WVDTP), suggests just under a quarter of West Virginia adults smoke, which is less than previously believed. The assessment revealed a 23.9 percent overall smoking rate statewide.
“The findings were surprisingly and pleasantly lower than expectations,” Bruce Adkins, Division Director for the WVDTP, said. “Because of sustained statewide prevention and cessation efforts, the lower prevalence could be the beginning of a downward trend for cigarette smoking.”
For the first time the WVATS collected tobacco use data concerning adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), and the results reflect a well-accepted view among public health professionals: there are far more LGBT smokers than in the general population. Nearly 41% of those identifying as LGBT smoke.