JACKSON, MS – January 14, 2021 – The Mississippi Department of Corrections recently announced their decision to lift the policy that prohibits smoking inside prisons beginning February 1, 2021.
Wyoming Cancer Advocates Mark Great American Smokeout by Calling for Action to Prevent Tobacco Addiction
Lawmakers Should Prioritize Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding in State Budget
CHEYENNE, Wyo – Cancer patients and survivors mark the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 45th annual Great American Smokeout today by calling on lawmakers to protect the health of Wyoming residents by prioritizing strong tobacco control policies, including the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program. As our battle with COVID-19 continues, 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.
As the advocacy affiliate of ACS, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), supports evidence-based strategies proven to reduce tobacco use including comprehensive smoke-free laws, regular and significant tobacco excise tax increases, and adequately funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
This effort to combat tobacco addiction comes at a critical moment, as Big Tobacco has hooked a new generation on tobacco products. E-cigarette use has reached significant levels among youth with nearly 30% of Wyoming teens using e-cigarettes. Additionally, both adults and teens in Wyoming smoke cigarettes at above-average rates.
By investing in Wyoming’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs at both the state and community level, lawmakers can help reverse these disturbing trends and reduce tobacco use, while lowering health care costs. That’s why ACS CAN urges the legislature to prioritize and preserve this critical program funding.
"Nearly 70% of people who currently smoke cigarettes want to quit, and the Great American Smokeout is about helping people reach that important goal. We know that preserving Wyoming’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs will help people quit and save lives," said RJ Ours, ACS CAN government relations director. "People who smoke or who used to smoke are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 so the sooner we can help Wyoming residents quit this deadly addiction, the better."
Reducing Big Tobacco’s grip on Wyoming is crucial to reduce death from tobacco-related disease, as well as to reduce health disparities. The tobacco industry’s marketing strategies have led to significant disparities in tobacco use including higher use of tobacco products among people with lower incomes, Blacks, American Indian and Alaskan Natives, and LGBTQ+ individuals. The lack of comprehensive tobacco control laws and funding in a locality or state can contribute to disparities in tobacco use. The $3 million each year that Wyoming allocates for tobacco prevention efforts is just under 36% of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, Big Tobacco spends $22 million annually marketing their deadly products in Wyoming.
Tobacco use remains the nation’s number one cause of preventable death, killing more 800 Wyoming residents each year and costing the state $258 million in annual health care costs.
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.