ATLANTA, GA – April 1, 2021 – On the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids’ Take Down Tobacco Day National Day of Action and in lightof the end of the Georgia session yesterday, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) reflects on the efforts of lawmakers to enact protective policies that reduce the toll for the most preventable cause of disease – tobacco use.
The below is a statement on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Senior Government Relations Director Susan Harbin Alford.
“While the traction around increasing our state’s low cigarette tax to $1.87 per pack with an equivalent tax on all other tobacco products was promising, the end of session marks another year the Legislature has failed to raise it’s drastically low tobacco taxes, placing thousands of more youth and adult lives at risk. Over 11,000 Georgia adults die from smoking each year and if nothing is done to reduce tobacco use in our state 204,000 Georgia kids alive today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
“Enacting a significant tobacco tax increase is one of the most effective methods to keep kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit. . Now more than ever, we should be doing everything we can to help those who choose to quit to succeed and put the health of all Georgians first.
“Everyday, Georgians continue be reminded about the importance of respiratory health and deadly dangers of tobacco use. The benefits from such legislation at this point in time would have been drastic – including prompting 54,000 adults to quit,keeping 27,000 kids from becoming adults who smoke and saving 21,600 lives.
“If this year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of taking action now that ensures a healthy environment for generations to come. We’re eager for next session and to work with lawmakers to finaly accomplish such a health win for our state, that will make a lasting difference in protecting and increasing the health of all Georgians.”
About ACS CAN at 20
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 saves lives. 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 made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.