The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation released the following statement after the Legislature voted Friday to put sweeping changes to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust on the November ballot.
Pennsylvania Cancer Group Continues Push for Tobacco Control Funding During Virtual Week of Action, Apr. 6-10
Harrisburg, Pa. — Starting next Monday, cancer patients and survivors from across Pennsylvania will begin making virtual asks of their state lawmakers to preserve Pennsylvania’s line item for tobacco prevention and cessation funding in the state budget.
Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will be making these asks as part of the organization’s Virtual Week of Action—created as an alternative to the group’s annual Day at the Capitol in the midst of COVID-19.
Specifically, volunteers will be asking state lawmakers to preserve $14.7 million for tobacco prevention and cessation funding to lessen the economic and health toll of Big Tobacco in Pennsylvania and help protect the state’s next generation from a lifetime of addiction. Currently, the state experiences $5.7 billion in productivity losses each year that are attributable to smoking.
Other reasons why this issue should matter to Pennsylvanians:
- Tobacco use is responsible for more than 1 out of 5 cancer deaths in the state;
- Seventeen percent of state adults smoke cigarettes, well above the national average;
- Smoking is estimated to cost nearly $6.4 billion in direct health care costs including more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs annually;
- More than 1 out of 5 of high school students currently use e-cigarettes.
During the virtual Week of Action, approximately 150 ACS CAN volunteers from across the state will engage with their state legislators via email, calls, video meetings and social media to discuss ACS CAN Pennsylvania’s push for preserving tobacco control funding. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook via @ACSCANPA.
MEDIA: Interviews related to cancer policy are available with Bill Sherman, ACS CAN managing director of government relations.
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.