Arizonans to Implore Lawmakers to Stop Tobacco’s Toll on Kids

February 3, 2020

PHOENIX – More than 150 Arizonans will ask lawmakers to help protect the public from cancer by maintaining funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection program and strengthening the state’s ability to control where tobacco products are sold.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers will ask lawmakers to define and regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product – an urgent request as now nearly 28% percent of the nation’s high-schoolers report using them. Current Arizona law does not regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which then allows them to be sold in vending machines and be used on school grounds. ACS CAN also supports House Bill 2173, which would add e-cigarettes in the state’s existing smoke-free law, and a bill that would implement tobacco retail licensing. State officials cannot track where tobacco products are sold, severely hampering their ability to hold accountable businesses selling to underage children.

Tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States, expected to kill more than 8,300 Arizonans and cost the state more than $2.38 billion in health care bills this year. In Arizona, 2,000 become new daily smokers every year.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Arizonan women and will claim the lives of 900 this year. The state covers the cost for about 10% of breast and cervical cancer screenings through a national program, and those dollars are in jeopardy.

“The state’s matching funds for Well Women HealthCheck allows the program to operate statewide, which is why it’s crucial lawmakers maintain current funding,” ACS CAN Arizona Government Relations Director Brian Hummell said. “Cuts to this program would deny Arizona women access to timely and affordable, lifesaving cancer treatment and survivorship care. Lives are at stake.”


Vanessa Ramirez, 12 News anchor
Dr. Archan Shah, thoracic oncologist
Melissa Norred, ACS CAN Arizona state lead ambassador
Kristi Jones, ACS CAN Arizona ACT! Lead


WHAT:              Day at the Capitol

WHERE:            Arizona State Capitol – Wesley Bolin Plaza

Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Times of note: Remarks start at 10:30 a.m., legislative meetings to start at noon. Lunch buffet opens at 11:30 a.m.