In advance of Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address, cancer patients and survivors called on the governor and elected officials to protect the health of all Vermont residents by increasing funding for the state’s tobacco control program.
Currently, Vermont funds its state tobacco control program at nearly 60 percent less than the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended amount of $8.4 million. Advocates note that the need is particularly strong in Vermont, where both youth and adult smoking rates remain higher than the national average.
“A well-funded, fact-based tobacco control program is needed to counteract the $15.4 million per year that tobacco companies are spending to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco alone in Vermont, not including their other deadly and addictive products. As Big Tobacco has been working hard to addict future generations with e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, the need for tobacco prevention program funding has never been greater.”
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S. and smoking is now linked to at least 12 types of cancers, including lung, liver and colorectal cancers. Due to Big Tobacco’s targeting of people with limited incomes, communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities, we see disproportionate tobacco use rates among these groups, which have led to health disparities.
“We urge Gov. Scott to protect Vermont’s kids and commit to increasing funding for the state tobacco control program by $1 million. In doing so, Vermont will take a decisive step towards reducing tobacco use and its devastating toll on our communities while also advancing our mission to end cancer as we know it, for everyone,” said Rollo.
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.