Tobacco use has been found to be one of the primary drivers of cancer-related health disparities because its use disproportionately impacts people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, mental health, income level, education level, and geographic location. Achieving health equity relies heavily on eliminating tobacco use. ACS CAN is pursuing fact-based tobacco control policies at the local, state and federal levels that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes for everyone.
Eliminating Tobacco-Related Disparities through Comprehensive Tobacco Control Policies
Tobacco use is one of the primary causes of cancer-related health disparities - disproportionately impacting people by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, mental health, income and education levels, and geographic location.[i],[ii],[iii] Eliminating health disparities depends heavily on eliminating tobacco use.[iv]
ACS CAN is pursuing evidence-based policies at the local, state, and federal levels that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes for all individuals by:
- Implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars, and gaming facilities.
- Increasing the price of tobacco products through regular and significant tobacco tax increases of at least $1 per pack of cigarettes with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products.
- Adequately funding evidence-based tobacco prevention and cessation programs that work to identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national Tips from Former Smokers campaign and state-based programs.
- Advocating for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its full authority to regulate tobacco products and prohibit all flavored products, including menthol.
- Increasing access to comprehensive cessation coverage in Medicaid and private insurance plans that encompass individual, group, and telephone counseling and all seven FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications.
- Advocating that state and local government pass comprehensive policies to end the sale of flavored tobacco products that include all tobacco products, all flavors, and all tobacco retailers.
[i] Irvin Vidrine J, Reitzel LR, Wetter DW. The role of tobacco in cancer health disparities. Curr Oncol Rep. 2009 Nov;11(6):475-81. doi: 10.1007/s11912-009-0064-9. PMID: 19840525; PMCID: PMC5031414.
[ii] Webb Hooper M. Editorial: Preventing Tobacco-Related Cancer Disparities: A Focus on Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations. Ethn Dis. 2018 Jul 12;28(3):129-132. doi: 10.18865/ed.28.3.129. PMID: 30038472; PMCID: PMC6051506.
[iii] Tong EK, Fagan P, Cooper L, Canto M, Carroll W, Foster-Bey J, Hébert JR, Lopez-Class M, Ma GX, Nez Henderson P, Pérez-Stable EJ, Santos L, Smith JH, Tan Y, Tsoh J, Chu K. Working to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities from Tobacco: A Review of the National Cancer Institute's Community Networks Program. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Aug;17(8):908-23. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv069. PMID: 26180215; PMCID: PMC4542844.
[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy People 2030, accessed March 14, 2023, retrieved from https://health.gov/healthypeople/priority-areas/health-equity-healthy-pe....