Youth E-cigarette Epidemic Prompts American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to Seek Legislation Addressing Tobacco Addiction

ACS CAN Eager to Work with the Legislature to Reduce Big Tobacco Toll on Tennesseans and Improving Access to Care

January 14, 2020

Nashville, TN – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is asking that legislators support legislation that will ease the burden of cancer in Tennessee. The latest edition of the ACS CAN’s How Do You Measure Up? report shows that Tennessee can do better when it comes to implementing legislation to prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer especially when it comes to tobacco control and access to care.

ACS CAN is advocating for: 

Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding: ACS CAN supports the Department of Health's proposed increase in funding for prevention and cessation to $4 million annually as a vital first step to protecting Tennessee’s youth from tobacco. This is especially important since Tennessee is one of the only states that does not include recurring funding for such programs and given the ongoing youth e-cigarette epidemic. 

Tobacco 21 Legislation: ACS CAN supports raising the state’s minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 to align with the federal age of sale coupled with strong retailer compliance and active enforcement as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce youth initiation. Nearly 95% of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21.

Step Therapy: ACS CAN will advocate for legislation that will limit the use of "Fail First" policies when it comes to access to medication. Currently, insurance companies may require a cancer patient to try, and then fail on a lower‐cost drug before they will cover the drug prescribed by the patient's doctor ‐ even if the doctor feels the more expensive treatment is more effective.

ACS CAN volunteers look forward to meeting with lawmakers during ACS CAN’s annual Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 18. 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

Media Contacts

Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager