The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is celebrating the 39th annual Great American Smokeout by calling on state lawmakers to protect the health of Nebraskans by passing strong tobacco prevention and control legislation, including increasing state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs and increasing tobacco excise taxes.
Currently, ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, in Nebraska is working with other leading health organizations to secure an increase in state funding for Tobacco Free Nebraska, the state's comprehensive tobacco prevention program to $7 million per year.
"The Great American Smokeout is about helping people quit, and we know increasing Nebraska's funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs is critical to helping people do just that," said David Holmquist, Nebraska government relations director for ACS CAN. "Most adult tobacco users want to quit, and lawmakers have the ability to ensure all people have access to lifesaving programs to help them through the process."
Nebraska has made progress on reducing the burden of tobacco by protecting its residents and workers from exposure to secondhand smoke under a strong comprehensive smoke-free law, which took effect in June 2009.
The American Cancer Society launched the Great American Smokeout nearly 40 years ago as a platform to encourage smokers to quit. Since then, the program has expanded to not only encourage smokers to make a plan to quit, but also to encourage all Americans to advocate for increased tobacco excise taxes, increased funding for tobacco cessation programs and comprehensive smoke-free legislation where statewide laws are currently not in effect.
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