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.
Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Government Relations Director Leo Almeida
COLUMBUS, OHIO – “Today, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed legislation that will restrict the authority of communities to pass local laws regulating the sale of tobacco products that are stronger than state law. Local control over matters designed to protect the public’s health, including tobacco control laws, has numerous benefits that are lost when local power is taken away.
“Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death nationwide. The annual health care costs in Ohio directly caused by smoking are $6.56 billion, which includes $1.85 billion in costs to Medicaid. This amendment would prevent local municipalities from fostering breakthroughs and customized solutions that could assist the state in saving lives and money, which the general assembly is always looking to do.
“Local, state and federal levels of government must work together to implement policies to protect public health. It’s through working together that we save lives. Removing local policymakers and local policies from the process will affect our ability to implement protective policies and help children stay healthy so they can learn and grow for years to come. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urges the General Assembly to stop this amendment from Big Tobacco.”
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.