California Receives Top State Advocacy Team Award for Outstanding Efforts in Cancer Advocacy

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American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Honors California Staff and Volunteer Teams with National Recognition for Cancer Advocacy Work



Washington, D.C. – A team of advocates and staff in California was recognized for their dedication and exceptional work in tobacco control by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, annually presents the State Advocacy Team of the Year award to combined staff and volunteer teams that have worked together to make a significant impression in cancer-related public policy.


“We are honored to recognize the California advocacy team for making cancer public policy a priority,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “This team is a remarkable example of what can be accomplished when we work together to improve public health and impact the cancer burden.

The award was given following California’s triumph last year over Big Tobacco and its $210 million lobbying influence that previously squashed two ballot measures and 11 legislative attempts in the past decade to increase the tobacco tax. 


“ACS CAN was part of a strong coalition pushing for a $2 tobacco tax increase in California and our volunteers invested tireless hours phone banking, attending rallies and educating their communities, but it is really the voters in this state who deserve the biggest credit for taking an interest in the toll tobacco has on public health and overwhelmingly passing Proposition 56, the highest single state tax increase ever levied on cigarettes in the nation,” said ACS CAN California Managing Director Jim Knox.


The successful tobacco tax initiative followed a historic package of tobacco control legislation signed into law that accomplished everything from raising the tobacco sales age to 21, classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products, closing loopholes in the state’s smoke-free workplace laws, making all K-12 schools tobacco-free and increasing licensing fees for tobacco retailers and distributors.


The award was presented to the California staff and volunteer advocates this week in Washington, D.C. as part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. More than 700 cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with their elected officials and urge them to make cancer a national priority.


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

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