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Tobacco Control

ACS CAN supports a comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, including increasing taxes on all tobacco products, implementing comprehensive smoke-free laws, fully funding and sustaining evidence-based, statewide tobacco control programs, ensuring access to clinical cessation services and working with the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products and their marketing.

Tobacco Control Resources:

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 requires that Medicaid enrollees have access to comprehensive cessation benefits without cost-sharing or other barriers to quit tobacco.

Tobacco control partners provided comments on the Request for Information; Coverage of Over-the-Counter Preventative Services (CMS-9891-NC), including three nicotine replacement (NRT) products, which would increase access to effective tobacco cessation medications for adults who want to quit using commerncial tobacco products. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all tobacco products to generate revenue, protect kids, and save lives. Significant tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.

Cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars pose a real danger to the long-term health of all Americans – especially young people – yet government regulation of these products lags behind that of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all forms of tobacco. Regular, significant excise tax increases of $1.00 or more per pack of cigarettes are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use cigarettes and to help adults quit. Tobacco excise taxes can also reduce tobacco-related health disparities among people with limited incomes, pregnant persons and among racial and ethnic populations.

 

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against major tobacco manufacturers Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Altria to hold the industry accountable for more than 50 years of conspiring to defraud the public in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Big Tobacco, an industry which has for decades knowingly addicted and endangered the lives of millions of Americans for their own profit, must now post the truth about their deadly products, including at the point-of-sale (POS) for approximately 220,000 tobacco retailers.

The U.S. Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. E-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product among youth and, like any tobacco product, are unsafe. E-cigarette use is also most common among younger adults. Action is urgently needed to reverse these dangerous trends.

Sustained, dedicated federal investment in tobacco control through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Smoking and Health (OSH) is necessary to prevent initiation of tobacco products, monitor tobacco product use, identify tobacco related disparities, and promote effective strategies to help individuals who use tobacco products to successfully quit.

Regulation and Products Resources:

ACS CAN and 77 leading public health organizations urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and its enforcement partners at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to use all the enforcement tools at their disposal against manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to clear the market of unauthorized e-cigarette products, including flavored products that put young people at risk for nicotine addiction and other significant health harms.

All tobacco products, including heated tobacco products, are unsafe. Heated tobacco products involve heating rather than burning the tobacco leaf, which is why the tobacco industry refers to them as “heat-not-burn” or non-combustible cigarettes. These products differ from e-cigarettes which heat a liquid.

Increasing tobacco excise taxes is one of the best ways to reduce overall tobacco use. It is important that when considering an excise tax increase on any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, that the tax should be increased on all tobacco products at an equivalent rate to encourage people to quit rather than switch to a cheaper product, and prevent youth from starting to use any tobacco product.

 

ACS CAN calls on the administration to finalize FDA’s rules to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars immediately. There is no scientific rationale for permitting any flavored tobacco product to remain on the market. To end cancer as we know it for everyone, tobacco use must be addressed and cannot be done without prohibiting the sale of menthol flavors and all flavored cigars.

When faced with mounting evidence that tobacco tax increases effectively reduce tobacco use, tobacco manufacturers will try to distract policymakers from the material facts by invoking dire warnings of reduced revenue due to increased illicit activity including widespread smuggling and other organized crime that they claim will result from increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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.

Cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars pose a real danger to the long-term health of all Americans – especially young people – yet government regulation of these products lags behind that of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The U.S. Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. E-cigarettes are the most used tobacco product among youth and, like any tobacco product, are unsafe. E-cigarette use is also most common among younger adults. Action is urgently needed to reverse these dangerous trends.

Implementation of graphic warnings in the U.S. has been thwarted by tobacco industry legal challenges. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), along with our partners, have fought back in the judicial system, using litigation to both compel the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue graphic warning regulations and help the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) defend the regulations finalized by FDA.

Smoke Free Resources:

ACS CAN advocates for everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air so that no one is forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. ACS CAN urges state and local officials to pass and protect comprehensive smoke-free laws in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and gaming facilities.

Research has repeatedly shown that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). Smoke-free laws and policies provide immediate and long-term health benefits for both people who smoke and those who do not and are good for businesses and workers.

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an occupational hazard for many casino workers – from dealers to security. But when smoking is permitted in casinos, no one – even patrons – is safe from SHS exposure. Job-related exposure to SHS is a significant, but entirely preventable, cause of premature death among U.S. workers.

 

More than 40 years after former U.S. Surgeon General Jesse Steinfeld first exposed the potential health risks of secondhand smoke (SHS) in 1971,1 and nearly 30 years after a subsequent Surgeon General’s report stated that SHS causes lung cancer and other diseases,2 all U.S.

Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard. Ventilation technologies do not sufficiently protect individuals from the harmful effects of breathing in secondhand smoke.The only effective way to fully protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking in indoor public spaces.

ACS CAN advocates for comprehensive smoke-free laws in all workplaces to protect workers and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand exposure and to create communities that support tobacco-free living. 

Prevention and Cessation Resources:

Tobacco use causes about one-third of cancer deaths in the nation overall, but the burden varies by state.

Pharmacies can offer an additional opportunity to aid individuals wanting to quit tobacco by providing immediate support and access to FDA-approved cessation medications.

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.

Tobacco control partners provided comments on the Request for Information; Coverage of Over-the-Counter Preventative Services (CMS-9891-NC), including three nicotine replacement (NRT) products, which would increase access to effective tobacco cessation medications for adults who want to quit using commerncial tobacco products. 

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. Eliminating health disparities depends heavily on eliminating tobacco use. 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.

Big tobacco has a history of prioritizing corporate profits over people and communities burdened by tobacco-related illness and death. For decades, the tobacco industry has lied to specific communities and the public at large saying their products are not addictive, harmful or deadly. Tobacco manufacturers continue to create and flood the market with newly designed products they market as being less harmful and alternatives to quitting – a tactic that is not new.

While overall smoking rates have declined in recent years, smoking rates remain higher among specific populations, including people with limited incomes. These differences are in large part due to the tobacco industry’s targeted marketing through advertising, price discounting and other strategies. Every year the tobacco industry spends $9.1 billion in the United States marketing their deadly and addictive products. 

While overall smoking rates have declined in recent years, smoking rates remain higher among specific subpopulations, including African Americans. These differences are in large part due to the tobacco industry’s targeted marketing through advertising, price discounting and other strategies.

While overall smoking rates have declined in recent years, smoking rates remain higher among specific subpopulations, including the LGBTQ+ community. These differences are in large part due to the tobacco industry’s targeted marketing through advertising, price discounting and other strategies.

Tobacco Taxes Resources:

Increasing tobacco excise taxes is one of the best ways to reduce overall tobacco use. It is important that when considering an excise tax increase on any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, that the tax should be increased on all tobacco products at an equivalent rate to encourage people to quit rather than switch to a cheaper product, and prevent youth from starting to use any tobacco product.

 

When faced with mounting evidence that tobacco tax increases effectively reduce tobacco use, tobacco manufacturers will try to distract policymakers from the material facts by invoking dire warnings of reduced revenue due to increased illicit activity including widespread smuggling and other organized crime that they claim will result from increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The economic model developed jointly by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK), the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), and Tobacconomics (a program of the University of Illinois at Chicago) projects the increase in state revenues, public health benefits, and health care cost savings resulting from increases in state cigarette tax rates.  The projections are updated annually.  Calculations are based on economic modeling by Frank Chaloupka, Ph.D., and John Tauras, Ph.D., at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jidong Huang, Ph.D., at Georgia State University, and Michael Pesko, Ph.D., at the University of Missouri.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all tobacco products to generate revenue, protect kids, and save lives. Significant tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes significantly increasing excise taxes on all forms of tobacco. Regular, significant excise tax increases of $1.00 or more per pack of cigarettes are one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use cigarettes and to help adults quit. Tobacco excise taxes can also reduce tobacco-related health disparities among people with limited incomes, pregnant persons and among racial and ethnic populations.

 

Tobacco excise taxes benefit people with limited incomes and reduce tobacco-related health disparities, especially when tobacco excise tax revenues are dedicated to cessation programs that serve people with limited incomes.