Great American Smokeout an Opportunity for Congress and the Administration to Recommit to Strong Tobacco Control

Statement from Chris Hansen President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

November 19, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 19, 2015 – “Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, a day that the Society encourages smokers to ‘quit like a champion’ and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges lawmakers and the administration to champion proven tobacco control policies that save lives.

“Congress should reject proposed cuts to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health, which conducts national tobacco control efforts that increase quit attempts across the country. The CDC’s enormously successful ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ campaign resulted in an estimated 1.6 million smokers making a quit attempt and more than 100,000 of them quitting for good. Simply put, this program works, and inadequate funding will put its future success at reducing tobacco use in jeopardy.

“Congress should also approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that includes critical language agreed to by negotiators and supported by public health groups that would protect the authority of member countries to enact lifesaving tobacco control measures. The important provision would prevent the tobacco industry from using this trade agreement to bring lawsuits intended to block important tobacco control policies that reduce deadly addiction and prevent the next generation from getting hooked.

“Finally, ACS CAN calls on the Obama administration to release the long-overdue FDA deeming rule, asserting its authority to regulate all tobacco products, especially increasingly popular tobacco products such as cigars, electronic cigarettes and hookah. Every day that goes by without regulation, tobacco companies take full advantage of their opportunity to exploit lack of regulations by marketing their products to young consumers who are using these tobacco products at dramatically increased rates.

“We are making progress in helping adults quit this deadly addiction, but there is still more work to do with more than 42 million adults using tobacco products. The Surgeon General estimates that smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in this country each year. Congress and the administration should prioritize the health of our country by funding tobacco control programs and issuing important regulations that encourage smokers to quit and prevent the next generation from getting addicted in the first place.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Alissa Crispino or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5772 or (202) 661-5711
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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