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ACS CAN Praises Governor for Maintaining Tobacco Control Program Funding in Budget

February 5, 2019

HARRISBURG, PA – Feb. 5, 2019 – Governor Tom Wolf delivered his budget address to the Pennsylvania state legislature today. The budget maintains funding for the state tobacco control programs, which help smokers quit and help young people to not start.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Pennsylvania Government Relations Director Emma Watson thanked Governor Wolf for the proposed funding.

“Maintaining funding for Pennsylvania’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs is crucial to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help people already addicted to tobacco quit,” said Watson.  “This is a crucial time to keep the program strong, because e-cigarettes are attracting more and more young people. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use by United States high school students rose 78 percent.”

In Pennsylvania, an estimated 22,000 deaths are caused by smoking each year.  5,100 kids under 18 become new daily smokers each year.

“Funding for Pennsylvania’s tobacco control programs has been cut numerous times over the history of the program,” continued Watson.  “Lowering tobacco prevention and cessation funds to a fraction of their original level. “

Evidence-based, statewide tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, sustained, and accountable have been shown to reduce tobacco use rates, as well as tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Research shows that the more states spend on comprehensive tobacco control programs, the greater the reductions in tobacco use. The longer states invest in such programs, the greater and quicker the impact.

“ACS CAN looks forward to working with the state legislature and Governor Wolf to protect these programs and to support other measures to save the lives and protect the health of Pennsylvanians,” concluded Watson.

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.fighcancer.org

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Marc Kaplan
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager
Albany, NY