FRANKFORT, KY – Last night, the legislature passed a new state budget that maintains funding to the Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP). The TPCP implements evidence-based strategies to reduce tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death nationwide. While smoking rates have declined in Kentucky over the last decade, Kentucky still has the second-highest smoking rate in the county.
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) had been hopeful that there would be a funding increase for tobacco prevention and cessation to $3.3 million,” said Kristy Young, government relations director for ACS CAN. “This funding is a simple tool to reduce cancer diagnoses and deaths and save lives in Kentucky. ACS CAN and our volunteers look forward to working with the legislature to increase funding in 2022.”
TPCP is also an essential tool in reducing health disparities. The tobacco industry’s marketing strategies have led to significant tobacco use disparities, including higher use of tobacco products among people with lower incomes, Blacks, American Indian and Alaskan Natives, and LGBTQ individuals. By maintaining funding to the state’s tobacco control program, the state can take steps against these tobacco use disparities and their deadly consequences.
“At this critical moment, we must do everything in our power to keep our communities healthy and safe—which means building strong public health infrastructure including comprehensive tobacco control measures,” said Young. “Respiratory health is vital as we continue to work to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control.”
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.