Frankfort, KY – Cancer patients, their families and other volunteers from around the state who have been touched by cancer came together at the State Capitol in Frankfort to advocate for cancer-fighting legislation, Thursday, February 20, 2020. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) gives people impacted by cancer a powerful voice with lawmakers by holding an annual Cancer Action Day.
Topping the list of priorities this year was addressing tobacco use in Kentucky, including the youth e-cigarette epidemic, which is rising at an alarming rate. To prevent a lifetime addiction to tobacco, ACS CAN volunteer advocates met with lawmakers to urge them to increase funding to the state’s tobacco cessation and prevention programs.
“Properly funding these programs can reduce tobacco use rates, and ultimately combat tobacco-related illness and death,” said Kristy Young, government relations director, ACS CAN. “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.”
Advocates also spoke with lawmakers about the need to increase funding for pediatric cancer research through the Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund to $7.5 million for the biennium. Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children ages 1-19 and more than 15,000 children will face a diagnosis this year. The final ask was to support expanded funding for the state’s colon cancer screening program. In 2020, it is estimated that 2,440 people in Kentucky will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and an estimated 870 will die from the disease.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.