Today, the Illinois House of Representatives failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years old. In response, Shana Crews, Illinois government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued the following statement:
ACS CAN to Elected Officials: It’s Past Time to Reduce the Toll of Tobacco on Michiganders
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Shares Where Michigan Stands 20 Years After the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
LANSING, Mich. – Nov. 14, 2018 – Today, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urged lawmakers to do better when it comes to tobacco prevention and cessation funding.
“As of this month, the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) has been in place for twenty years, and Michigan’s state-run tobacco quitline still does not have enough funding to operate for a full year,” said Andrew Schepers, Michigan government relations director for ACS CAN. “The state receives hundreds of millions of dollars annually in funding from the MSA. We need to do more than hope people can quit this terrible addiction. We need to fund the resources they need to finally do it.”
The MSA was negotiated between 46 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and the participating tobacco manufacturers. The agreement meant the tobacco industry had to pay states billions of dollars annually and restrict the sale and marketing of cigarettes.
Twenty years later, Michigan now has the 11th-highest smoking rate in the country and only puts 1.4 percent of the recommended CDC funding into tobacco prevention and cessation. No money from the MSA is currently allocated to the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
“ACS CAN is asking lawmakers to increase funding for tobacco prevention by $100,000 in the Health and Human Services budget for the coming year,” Schepers said. “That’s all it would take to keep the quitline operational year-round. It is past time for Michigan to offer better support to those who want to quit tobacco.”
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.