During American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout®, Cancer Patients, Survivors, and Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Pass Tobacco Control Measures to Protect Public Health
Elected officials across the state must do more to support residents of Indiana who want to quit using tobacco products, say cancer patients, survivors, and advocates who are marking the American Cancer Society’s 48th annual Great American Smokeout® this Thursday. The Great American Smokeout is a day for people who use tobacco to create a plan to quit.
Not only does the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) want to help people quit, but it also wants to help Indiana’s youth never start. The recent coverage around Indiana’s e-cigarette epidemic highlighted the toll e-cigarettes are having on Hoosiers. ACS CAN, for several years, has made recommendations for reducing all tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, in the state.
“If lawmakers want to improve Hoosier health and reduce e-cigarette use, a significant tax increase on all tobacco products and an investment of a portion of the tax revenue into tobacco prevention and cessation programs is one of the most effective ways to do that,” said Allie Kast, government relations director, ACS CAN. “The low price of tobacco products makes it easy for youth to start and to keep adults addicted. We can protect kids, save lives, and help our state generate revenue by increasing the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack with a parallel tax on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of disease and death, and smoking is linked to at least 12 types of cancers, including lung, liver and colorectal cancers. Each year, more than 11,000 Hoosiers die from a smoking-related disease and over 11,000 kids try cigarettes for the first time.
“The Great American Smokeout is not just an opportunity for people who use tobacco to set a plan to quit. It’s also a clear wake-up call for lawmakers to say it’s time for Indiana to stand up to Big Tobacco,” said Kast. “For too long, Indiana has allowed the tobacco industry to addict people to deadly, cancer-causing products. It’s time to say, ‘enough is enough.’ Our residents deserve better.”
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 www.fightcancer.org.