Cancer Advocates Call on Legislature to Invest in Measures to Combat Tobacco Use

The Toll of Tobacco on Kentucky is Too Great to Ignore

March 14, 2024

FRANKFORT, KY – Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the state’s operating budget, which drastically underfunds programs that help prevent kids from starting to use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and help those already addicted to quit. These programs are critical because they implement fact-based strategies to reduce tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death nationwide and is responsible for 37.2% of cancer deaths in Kentucky. 

The following statement can be attributed to Doug Hogan, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Kentucky government relations director: 

“American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges the budget conference committee, which will work to reach a compromise between the Senate and House budget versions, to invest $10 million annually in fact-based programs that address tobacco use, including the use of e-cigarettes. Smoking is estimated to cost Kentucky $2.23 billion in direct health care costs, including $634 million in Medicaid costs annually. Additionally, smoking costs the state an estimated $6.3 billion in lost productivity costs annually. Kentucky has the opportunity to turn these numbers around with the 2024 budget.

“For every $1 spent on comprehensive prevention and cessation programs to help people quit, states receive up to $55 in savings from averted tobacco-related health care costs. So, a $10 million investment would be a significant step toward a healthier workforce and could save up to $550 million.”



About ACS CAN  
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. We engage our volunteers across the country to make their voices heard by policymakers at every level of government. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, 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 stand with our volunteers, working to make 

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Michelle Zimmerman
Associate Director, Regional Media Advocacy