Report Emphasizes Need for U.S. to Act on Global Chronic Disease Burden

Council on Foreign Relations Report Cites Devastating Impact of Noncommunicable Diseases on Global Economy

December 5, 2014

WASHINGTON – December 5, 2014 – Following is a statement from John R. Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), about the Council on Foreign Relations report, “The Emerging Global Health Crisis: Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” which was issued today.

“We commend the Council on Foreign Relations for confronting the global epidemic of noncommunicable disease (NCD) in its first-ever report on health issues.

“The American Cancer Society and ACS CAN strongly support the recommendation that the U.S. government thoroughly examine its global health programs and expand their mandate to include prevention and early detection of cancer and other NCDs. Despite clear and mounting evidence of the growing global burden of NCDs, the U.S. has no dedicated budget or programs for combating these diseases in low- and middle-income countries.

“The No. 1 risk factor for the major NCDs, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases, is tobacco use. Unless we stem the rapidly increasing rates of tobacco use, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, tobacco-related illnesses will kill 1 billion people worldwide by the end of this century. Successful efforts in this country to pass laws regulating tobacco products, creating smoke-free workplaces, increasing tobacco excise taxes and funding tobacco cessation programs have repeatedly shown that proven tobacco control policies are a “best buy” for curbing tobacco use and saving lives.

“We strongly agree with the report’s recommendation that the Obama administration protect lifesaving tobacco control provisions in international trade agreements from trade dispute challenges by the tobacco industry, which has long used such challenges to weaken critical initiatives by other countries to reduce the economic and public health impact of tobacco use.

“We also support the recommendation to intensify efforts to prevent and detect cervical cancer, a preventable and treatable disease that disproportionately affects women in low- and middle-income countries, through vaccination and screening. Where a woman lives should not determine whether she survives a diagnosis of cervical cancer.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

For More Information, Contact:
Alissa Crispino or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: 202-661-5772 or 202-661-5711
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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