Researchers at the West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WVPRC), housed inside the WVU School of Public Health, found a majority of West Virginians support an increase in taxes on tobacco products if the funds raised by the tax were used towards improving public health.

West Virginia adults participating in the 2014 Adult Tobacco Survey (WVATS) were asked if they would be in favor of an increase in the tax on a pack of cigarettes if the money were used to improve public health. They were also asked about their support for an increase in the tax on smokeless tobacco products.

Sixty-seven percent support a cigarette tax increase. Those who support a cigarette tax increase were asked how high the increase should be; 55 percent support an increase of more than $2. The current tax rate is $0.55. While 74 percent of nonsmokers support a tax increase, nearly half of smokers (41 percent) also favor an increase.

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