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Tennessee Legislature Takes Small Step to Combat Tobacco

ACS CAN Acknowledges the Legislature for Including Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation in the Budget, but More Funding is Still Needed to Combat Tobacco’s Harms

May 6, 2019

Nashville, TN – May 6, 2019 – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) acknowledges Gov. Bill Lee and the legislature for including $2 million dollars of funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the final budget, but says the program needs more funding to get back to its 2018 funding level. 

Emily Ogden, director of government relations in Tennessee for ACS CAN, released the following statement:

“We acknowledge Gov. Bill Lee and the legislature for including $2 million in funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the final budget, but the program needs another $2 million in funding to reach its previous funding level from 2018. This investment would have allowed the state to better help prevent kids from starting to use tobacco products and to help people quit, while delivering health and cost-saving benefits to Tennessee. Without proper funding, the Tennessee Department of Health won’t be able to support the county, regional or statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programming that is already in place.

“Evidence-based, statewide tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, sustained and accountable have been shown to reduce tobacco use rates, as well as tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Research shows that the more states spend on comprehensive tobacco control programs, the greater the reductions in tobacco use.

“We cannot leave Tennessee’s kids vulnerable to marketing efforts of the tobacco industry to hook children into a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. The tobacco industry spends an estimated $288.9 million per year on marketing its addictive and deadly products in Tennessee – that’s just under a $1 million per day in Tennessee alone. As we stand today, 125,000 Tennessee kids will die prematurely from tobacco.

“ACS CAN thanks the legislature for including $2 million in funding for these programs and looks forward to working with them in the future to increase this lifesaving funding.”

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.

 

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