The cost of maintaining nicotine addiction is pricey for West Virginians.

The average West Virginia smoker bought about 573 packs of cigarettes and spent about $2,121 on their habit in 2009, according to a new study by the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention and the state Health Statistics Center.

The incidence of tobacco use in West Virginia, Calhoun and most regional counties is among the highest rates in the USA.

About 366,000 West Virginia smokers are age 18 and older, or about 25.6 percent of the state's population.

West Virginian's purchased more than 210 million packs of cigarettes in 2009.

That's a rate of about 1.5 packs per day per smoker.

Between 1980 to 2009, a lifetime smoker is estimated to have spent about $31,000 on cigarettes.

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