Urgent Call for Increased Funding to Combat Tobacco Use

West Virginia Can and Must Do Better to Boost Funding to Combat Tobacco Use, Protect Public Health

March 11, 2024

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - As the legislature wrapped over the weekend, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) calls on the legislature to prioritize funding to reduce the toll of tobacco on West Virginians during the anticipated special session in May. 

The following is a statement from Doug Hogan, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in West Virginia:

"The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) calls on Finance Committee Chairs, Del. Criss and Sen. Tarr, and the entire West Virginia Legislature, urging them to prioritize public health in the state’s budget by increasing funding to $16.5 million for comprehensive programs to reduce tobacco use. To reach that goal, ACS CAN is asking lawmakers to support the West Virginia Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Task Force's request for $5 million. 

“Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death and disease, imposing a significant burden on individuals and families. West Virginia is ranked 50th for funding critical programs to reduce tobacco use and has the highest adult smoking rate in the nation. We must invest in robust, fact-based strategies to address this public health crisis head-on.

“Nearly 38% of cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking in West Virginia, the highest smoking-attributable cancer death rate in the country. By allocating $16.5 million to programs that help prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and help others quit, West Virginia can take a substantial step towards creating a healthier and less cancer-stricken state.”


About ACS CAN 
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 improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. 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 advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting 

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