Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Government Relations Director Kimberly Hughes
Cancer Patients and Survivors Rally Legislators Virtually Due to COVID-19
Technology-Enabled American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteers to Continue Efforts to Tackle Cancer
FRANKFORD, KY – The unpredictable and dynamic nature of COVID-19 is no match for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's (ACS CAN) volunteers' steadfast commitment. Because of the virus and the elevated risk for those with compromised immune systems, cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers from across the state traveled virtually to the state capitol this week to meet with Kentucky lawmakers about the need to preserve funding the state's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.
"Cancer hasn't stopped. So, neither will we. As a cancer survivor, I let my lawmakers know if we're going to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in Kentucky, this goal must be top of mind for our legislature," said Pam Pilgrim, ACS CAN Kentucky state lead ambassador. "By reducing tobacco's toll, we can reduce suffering and death from this disease."
Specifically, the Kentucky volunteers asked the legislature to:
Restore Funding to the State's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program: restore funding to $3.3 million in Kentucky's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program. This investment will allow the state to help prevent kids from starting to use tobacco products and help people quit while delivering health and cost-saving benefits to Kentucky. While smoking rates have declined in Kentucky over the last decade, Kentucky still has the second-highest smoking rate in the county.
Even as we face this pandemic, every day, an estimated 83 Kentuckians hear the words "you have cancer" and 34 percent of cancer deaths in Kentucky are attributable to smoking. Those gathered this week called on Kentucky lawmakers to change this by taking steps to make the fight against cancer a priority.
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.