American Cancer Society disappointed in state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation
Representatives of the American Cancer Society are expressing some disappointment in the Kentucky General Assembly. They’re not happy with the legislature’s funding of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. Kristy Young is the ACS Cancer Action Network Government Relations Director. She said her organization was seeking a $20 million appropriation over the next two years. Young said the budget includes $4 million over that period.
“This conversation can be continued. But, I do want to express concerns that the funding can create some opportunities to reduce tobacco use around the state,” said Young.
Young noted Kentucky has the second highest adult smoking rate in the country and 26% of high school students use tobacco products.
She added her organization didn’t push for an increase in the cigarette tax this session.
“We were thinking this year would be a potential win because there is money left on the table, so that’s the reason we went that route. It’s also a fact-based way to reduce tobacco use by increasing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation,” said Young.
Young said more than 34% of cancer deaths in Kentucky are attributed to smoking.