West Virginia’s Legislature Chose Big Tobacco Over West Virginians
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is disappointed that lawmakers chose Big Tobacco over the health of West Virginians in the state budget.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Cancer patients and survivors are marking the American Cancer Society's 47th annual Great American Smokeout® Thursday by calling on the Columbus City Council elected officials to protect the health of all residents by ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.
“Menthol, other candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are a key part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to entice our youth into a potential lifetime of addiction. And for decades, the tobacco industry has used menthol cigarettes to target Black communities who consistently report the highest use of menthol products,” said Leo Almeida, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network government relations director. “Today, 4 out of 5 kids who have tried tobacco started with a flavored product. It is clear we must end the sale of flavored tobacco products to protect kids from tobacco-related diseases like cancer and reduce the health disparities this industry inflicts on Black Americans.”
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S., and smoking is now linked to at least 12 cancers, including lung, liver and colorectal cancers.
“We urge city council to mark the Great American Smokeout® by ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products. In doing so, Columbus will take a decisive step towards reducing tobacco use and its devastating toll on our communities while advancing our mission to end cancer as we know it for everyone,” said Almeida. “Two states and at least 170 localities have enacted laws restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes. It’s time for Columbus to join them.”
Free resources on quitting smoking can be found at the Ohio Quitline or through the American Cancer Society’s new 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 www.fightcancer.org.