Maine Budget Shortsighted In Addressing Tobacco Control; Flavored Tobacco

Legislature missed opportunities to protect Maine’s kids and communities from tobacco industry’s continued targeting; urged to amend budget

June 29, 2021

AUGUSTA – The Maine Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee has finalized a budget deal without including Governor Mills’ provision to end the sale of menthol and all flavored tobacco products. They also failed to include $5 million/year in additional funding for the state’s tobacco control program. Advocacy groups across the state are condemning this as short sighted and dangerous for public health in Maine. The following can be attributed to Hilary Schneider, Maine director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

“There’s no putting up a smokescreen to hide the fact that tobacco use kills, and it’s impacting our youth at an alarming rate: nearly 1 in 3 Maine high school students report using some sort of tobacco product in the last 30 days. Yet when given the chance to protect kids being preyed upon by the tobacco industry by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products here in Maine, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee members instead chose to side with Big Tobacco by walking away from this proposal.

“To add insult to injury, lawmakers also failed to allocate additional funding unanimously supported by the HHS committee to the state’s lifesaving tobacco control program, which we know helps prevent kids from picking up this deadly addiction as well as help current tobacco users quit.

“We deserve better to combat the tobacco industry’s deadly influence in this state. ACS CAN urges the legislature to amend the budget bill and prioritize public health in tomorrow’s budget vote.”




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




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