Breaking the Cycle of Tobacco Addiction

During American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout®, Cancer Patients, Survivors, and Advocates Urge Kentucky Lawmakers to Focus on Prevention and Cessation

November 14, 2023

FRANKFORT, KY – Elected officials must do more to support the residents of Kentucky who want to quit using tobacco products, say cancer patients, survivors, and advocates who are marking the American Cancer Society’s 48th annual Great American Smokeout® this Thursday. The Great American Smokeout is a day for people who use tobacco to create a plan to quit.

Not only does the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) want to help people quit, but we also want to help Kentucky's youth never start, which will help improve the health of Kentucky’s workforce. A well-funded tobacco cessation and prevention program is essential to provide the support needed to help people quit and to prevent kids and young adults from starting to use tobacco.

“On this Great American Smokeout, ACS CAN urges Gov. Beshear and state lawmakers to invest $10 million annually in fact-based tobacco prevention and cessation programs,” said Doug Hogan, government relations director, ACS CAN. “For every $1 spent on comprehensive prevention and cessation programs, states receive up to $55 in savings from averted tobacco-related health care costs. So, if the state invested $10 million, it would not only be a great step toward a healthier workforce, but it could also save up to $550 million.”

Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of disease and death, and smoking is linked to at least 12 types of cancers, including lung, oral, breast and colorectal cancers. Each year, more than 8,900 Kentuckians die from a smoking-related disease and over 8,700 kids try cigarettes for the first time.

“The Great American Smokeout is not just an opportunity for people who use tobacco to set a plan to quit. It’s also a clear wake-up call for lawmakers to say it’s time for Kentucky to stand up to Big Tobacco,” said Hogan. “For too long, Kentucky has allowed the tobacco industry to addict people to deadly, cancer-causing products. It’s time to say, ‘enough is enough.’ Our residents deserve better.”  

Free resources on quitting tobacco can be found at Quit Now Kentucky-1-800-QUIT-NOW or through the American Cancer Society’s cessation program, Empowered to Quit. 


About ACS CAN 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting 

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Michelle Zimmerman
Associate Director, Regional Media Advocacy