Cancer Patients and Survivors Rally at the Capitol

West Virginia Must Do Better to Reduce the Burden of Cancer

February 12, 2024

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Today, cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state traveled to the Capitol in Charleston to meet with their elected officials. They let their lawmakers know that West Virginia can and must do better to prevent cancer and reduce suffering and death by reducing tobacco use.

“Like so many West Virginians, we know the pain and suffering that comes with cancer all too well. We lost our first spouses to cancer and we want to help ensure others don’t experience the same tragedy,” said Dan and Linda Hart, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers. “We let our lawmakers know that with nearly 38% of cancer deaths in our state being attributed to smoking, we can and must do better to reduce the toll of tobacco.” 

Advocates asked lawmakers to reduce the toll of tobacco on our state by making a meaningful investment of $16.5 million in fact-based tobacco control programs. As a way of reaching that goal, advocates promoted House Bill 4983, which would provide funding of $5 million for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. We need a well-funded, fact-based tobacco control program to counteract Big Tobacco’s deceptive marketing strategy and prevent another generation of people from becoming addicted to these deadly products.  

An estimated 12,890 West Virginians will be diagnosed with cancer, and 4,750 are expected to die from the devastating disease this year. Those gathered at the capitol today are calling on West Virginia lawmakers to change this by taking steps to prioritize the fight against cancer. 


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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Media Contacts

Michelle Zimmerman
Associate Director, Regional Media Advocacy