"If they've got an extra $600 to $1000 that they can spend on other things that household needs, not only will that household have extra money, but they'll also be healthier," he said.
"And hopefully they'll be able to spend the money they spent on cigarettes on better foods, medicines they need or health care."
A 2009 report from the Division of Tobacco Prevention estimated that 3,785 West Virginians were dying each year from smoking-related illnesses.
The division also estimates that the state racks up about $1.3 billion in health care costs related to smoking each year.
And a lot of those costs are for people on public assistance programs like Medicaid.
"People of lower economic status and people of lower education definitely smoke and use tobacco at a higher rate," Adkins said.
"If we could get half of the people on Medicaid to quit using tobacco, then we probably could keep a lot of people healthier and off the Medicaid books by this one particular intervention."
He also said those who decide to quit are more open to other healthy habits, such as better diets and exercise.
"If you can teach one healthy behavior, it's easier to teach them another," Adkins said.
The latest study also calculated what average smokers would make if they invested their money rather than spend it on cigarettes.
Using a conservative 6 percent interest rate, a smoker would have about $64,000 in the bank today if they had invested their cigarette money over the past 30 years.
At 8 percent interest, the total would have hit $85,000.
Looking ahead, a smoker could have $261,000 by 2039 if they chose to invest and got a 6 percent rate of return rather than buy cigarettes. The figure would be $355,000 if they received an 8 percent return.
"If nothing else, this should point out to the average smoker in West Virginia that if they quit, there's a whole lot of ways they can spend the money," Adkins said.
"Even though they are horribly addicted to them, this should really resonate with them to think, 'Man, if I quit, think of how much I can save.'"
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.