It’s been ten years since the FDA was given the mandate from Congress to fully regulate the tobacco industry and tasked with the critical responsibility of protecting the health of our nation. And still, the FDA has not fulfilled its mission to reduce the deadly toll of tobacco use.
World Cancer Day 2013
Today, as we do every February 4, we commemorate World Cancer Day. Organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (IUCC), World Cancer Day is a day for the global cancer community to come together and make our voices heard as we raise awareness about the need to make the fight to defeat cancer an international priority. The theme of this year's World Cancer Day is dispelling myths and misconceptions related to cancer. On the World Cancer Day website you can find a comprehensive list of common myths about cancer, but I found this one particularly important to discuss: Myth: Cancer is just a health issue Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications. Fact: Cancer constitutes a major challenge to development, undermining social and economic advances throughout the world. This is especially true in the case of tobacco consumption. You might remember my synopsis of an event the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation held last October to promote the fourth edition of the Tobacco Atlas. The Tobacco Atlas provides a comprehensive look at the global impact of tobacco on the health and economies around the world. For instance, the toll of tobacco use on the health of workforces in the developing world is hurting the advancement of some countries' economies. That's why ACS CAN is working hard locally, nationally and globally to combat tobacco use through such measures as implementing strong smoke-free laws, significant and consistent tobacco taxes and effective cessation programs. So on this World Cancer Day, I challenge you to learn more about the myths and misconceptions about cancer, and to spread the word through your social networks about the importance of advocacy in the global fight against cancer. Roughly half of all cancer deaths could be prevented with proper access to proven screenings and prevention measures and only with global recognition of this fact will we be able to significantly reduce death and suffering from this disease.