WISE COUNTY, Va. - The LENOWISCO health district received funding from the Virginia Department of Health so they can focus more on a tobacco use control project.
The project's goal is to reduce tobacco use and its harmful effects in Southwest Virginia.
LENOWISCO serves health departments in Lee, Wise, and Scott counties along with Norton city.
We learned that 33 percent of the people in those areas smoke, compared to the 20 percent statewide rate.
Michelle McPheron believes the numbers are higher because of lack of education. "We associate higher rates of tobacco use with a need for more education about the impact on your health and how [tobacco use is] directly linked to certain conditions," said McPheron.
McPheron told News 5 that the higher rates can be linked to family trends. Going forward they will focus many of their resources on target younger people in schools and universities.