Chris Hansen, ACS CAN President

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

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A Great Day to Quit Tobacco

November 19, 2015

ItŠ—'s the American Cancer SocietyŠ—'s 40th Annual Great American Smokeout Š—– an annual opportunity to join others across the country in a dedicated day to make a plan to quit tobacco. This year, the Society is encouraging tobacco users to, Š—“Quit like a champion.Š—

At ACS CAN, weŠ—'re honoring the spirit of the day by urging Congress and the Obama administration to support tobacco users in their quitting quest, by championing legislation and policies that are proven to help people stop smoking and prevent a next generation from getting started on the path to addiction.

A proposal in Congress would cut funding to the Center for Disease Control and PreventionŠ—'s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health in half. This department is doing important work year round, conducting national tobacco control efforts that are increasing quit attempts across the country. The Š—“Tips from Former SmokersŠ— campaign resulted in an estimated 1.6 million smokers making a quit attempt and more than 100,000 of them quitting for good. Cutting anti-tobacco funding undermines the CDCŠ—'s ability to build on this proven success. Congress should reject proposed funding cuts so this and other important tobacco control work can continue uninterrupted.

Congress also has the ability to help promote strong tobacco control globally by approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. This agreement includes an important provision agreed to by negotiators and supported by public health groups including ACS CAN that would protect the authority of member countries to enact lifesaving tobacco control measures.

Finally, ACS CAN urges the administration to finalize the long overdue FDA deeming rule, so the agency can finally regulate increasingly popular tobacco products such as cigars, electronic cigarettes and hookah. While the overall rate of adult cigarette use is decreasing, youth are increasingly using these unregulated products. Every day they go unregulated is an opportunity for tobacco companies to promote their products to children in an effort to hook the next generation.

We are making progress in the fight to curb tobacco addiction in this country. But now is not the time to be complacent or to roll back our efforts. More than 42 million adults still use tobacco products and the surgeon general estimates more than 480,000 will lose their lives to smoking-related illness in the U.S. this year. We call on Congress and the administration to recommit to making public health a top national priority by providing needed funding and protection for proven tobacco control and issuing regulations that will help to rein in an industry that takes extraordinary measures today and every day to keep customers hooked and hook youngsters on their addictive and deadly products.