More Funding Needed to Reduce the Toll of Tobacco in Kentucky

Kentucky Has the Highest Rate of Cancer Deaths Linked to Smoking and it’s Time for the Legislature to Act

January 4, 2022

FRANKFORT, KY – As lawmakers dive into the 2022 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges legislators to prioritize proven tobacco control measures that would ease the burden of cancer in Kentucky, where over 34 percent of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. 

“Kentucky’s tobacco use rates continue to be among the highest in the nation. We know that increasing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation to $10 million is a critical first step to reducing the toll of tobacco on Kentuckians,” said Kristy Young, ACS CAN government relations director. “An increased investment in tobacco prevention and cessation programs will prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help those already addicted to quit.”

Tobacco use impacts all Kentuckians but does not impact all equally. The lack of funding and comprehensive tobacco control laws in Kentucky contributes to inequalities in tobacco use and tobacco-related disease. It is past time for the legislature to take meaningful action.  An estimated 8,900 Kentuckians will die from smoking this year. We can and we must do better.  


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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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager