ACS CAN Applauds Senate Committee Release of Tobacco Control Funding Bill

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TRENTON, NJ – June 1, 2017 – The New Jersey State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has unanimously released a bill (S862) that would dedicate one percent, approximately $7 million, of cigarette and tobacco tax dollars, toward the New Jersey Tobacco Control Program (TCP).  The Assembly has already passed this bill unanimously.

Brian Shott, New Jersey government relations director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released the following statement:

“We applaud the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for releasing this crucial legislation that will allocate cigarette and tobacco tax dollars to our state Tobacco Control Program (TCP). If enacted, this bill will help save lives. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of premature death in the United States. This year, it is projected that over 51,000 New Jerseyans will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 16,000 will die due to this disease.

“If passed and enacted, this legislation will return approximately $7 million to our TCP which offers proven programs and strategies that help people quit smoking and help educate non-smokers to never start using these deadly products. These funds will come from our state’s tobacco tax revenues. New Jersey has annually collected almost $700 million in cigarette and tobacco taxes and has not allocated one state penny to support this program, while tobacco companies spend an estimated $178 million a year advertising their deadly products in New Jersey.

“We Thank Senator Brian Stack for his leadership in sponsoring this legislation.  We now urge Senate President Sweeney to bring this bill to the floor for a full Senate vote. Funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs is crucial to cutting tobacco use in New Jersey, and saving lives. We cannot continue to turn our backs on New Jerseyans who need support to quit smoking or to never start.

“We ask the full Senate to pass this bill and Governor Christie to enact it as soon as possible.

ACS CAN looks forward to continue working with our state leaders to support a fully funded Tobacco Control Program for New Jersey.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

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