Chris Hansen, ACS CAN President

ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse shares her views on the impact of advocacy on the cancer fight.


A Broken Promise to Our Children

November 30, 2011

Did you know tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in our country? Yet, our progress in the fight against Big Tobacco is being undermined, according to a report released today by a coalition of public health groups including ACS CAN. Issued annually, the report assesses whether states have kept their promise to use funds from the landmark 1998 settlement between them and Big Tobacco Š—– expected to total $246 billion over the first 25 years Š—– to fight tobacco use. In the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, states will collect $25.6 billion in revenue from both the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend only 1.8 percent of it on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit Š—– a 12 percent decrease from last year. Put simply, that means states are spending less than two cents of every tobacco revenue dollar on programs to reduce tobacco use. With 20 percent of Americans still smoking, these numbers are unacceptable. The most effective way to curb tobacco use in this country is through a combination of proven, evidence-based strategies -- regular, significant increases in tobacco taxes; adequate funding of tobacco cessation and prevention programs; and comprehensive smoke-free laws. Without these strong policies, states are putting lives at risk. Tobacco companies spend $23 on marketing tobacco products for every $1 states spend fighting tobacco use. Even in a tough budgetary climate, states have a responsibility to use more of the tobacco dollars they receive to protect our kids from Big Tobacco and help people quit. The result will be fewer cancers and other health problems from tobacco, and lower health care costs. I invite you to read this state-by-state report and learn how your state is doing in funding the fight against Big Tobacco.