Priorities for 2021 Legislative Session: Saving Lives and State Dollars Lost to Tobacco

ACS CAN Looks Forward to Working with the Legislature to Reduce the Cancer Burden in the New Year

January 5, 2021

JACKSON, MS – January 4, 2021 – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) looks ahead to what public health initiatives our lawmakers can accomplish in the 2021 legislative session particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. At such a critical time, 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.

Top among them are efforts to increase the state’s dangerously low tobacco taxes. With the current cigarette tax ranking 40th in the nation, such legislation would reduce the state’s $1.23 billion burden in annual health care costs caused by smoking and address the financial impacts caused by the pandemic.

Tobacco Tax Increase: ACS CAN is advocating for a cigarette tax increase of $1.50 per pack paralleled with an increase on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. A significant tobacco tax increase is one of the most effective ways to help adults who are addicted quit and prevent youth from ever starting. Supported by more than 70% of voters across party lines, the lifesaving measure would come at a critical time when the state could benefit from the estimated new annual revenue and when smoking rates among adults and youth in the state remain dangerously high.

Cancer patients, survivors and advocates look forward to meeting virtually with lawmakers over these issues during ACS CAN's annual Cancer Action Week beginning February 15th.  ACS CAN encourages individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in these issues to reach out to ACS CAN to get involved in the fight against cancer at

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

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