Today is The Great American Smokeout– a campaign by our friends at the American Cancer Society that urges Americans to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers take an important step towards a healthier life ? one that can lead to reducing cancer risk. Half of the 45 million American smokers tried to quit last year and only a very small percentage actually was successful. It?s hard to quit, but it is the #1 thing you can do to improve your health.
Advocates, organizations and even the White House are celebrating The Great American Smokeout. This morning, The Whitehouse posted a video from President Obama congratulating everyone who is participating in this important campaign and underscoring the Administration?s commitment to fighting tobacco use:
Mayor Bloomberg?s organization is talking tobacco control today and released a new report from Bloomberg Philanthropies on global tobacco use and the organization?s successful efforts toward global tobacco control:
…In just a few short years, as this report will show, this work and the work of our partners have already had a huge impact. Almost four billion people worldwide are protected by at least one of the six proven tobacco control policies, and momentum continues to build. In the first half of 2011 alone, Argentina became the eighth nation in Latin America to go smoke-free, and Harbin City in China passed its nation?s strongest tobacco control legislation to date. That said, the battle is far from over, and we look forward to continued success around the world.
– Michael R. Bloomberg
LIVESTRONG is working hard today on the tobacco front as well. LIVESTRONG believes that states should strengthen tobacco control measures, including smoke-free workplaces and tobacco taxes.
It is in the public?s best interest to be protected from all environmental tobacco smoke. Fortunately, a growing number of states and communities have passed comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws. Because states play a critical role in tobacco control, LIVESTRONG encourages all states to pass similar laws to ensure everyone?s right to breathe clean air.
?As a member of the Smoke-Free Texas coalition, LIVESTRONG is advocating for statewide legislation that would protect all Texans from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. We believe everyone has the right to breathe clean indoor air and no one should have to choose between their health and a pay check.
?LIVESTRONG also is working with the CEO Roundtable on Cancer to implement the CEO Cancer Gold Standard? across corporations, universities, and other institutions. Gold Standard criteria include risk reduction strategies for tobacco control such as support for smoke-free workplaces.
Raising tobacco taxes is another tobacco control strategy that creates a double benefit for states. Increased tobacco taxes create much-needed revenue and are proven to reduce smoking, which in turn saves lives. LIVESTRONG strongly supports increases to state tobacco tax rates to fund public health programs and reduce the number of smokers. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids asserts that higher tobacco taxes are effective in curbing smoking rates and augmenting government funds, and that measures to increase taxes on tobacco products are widely supported across demographic populations and the spectrum of political affiliations.
?LIVESTRONG has endorsed the California Cancer Research Act. Through a $1 per-pack tax on cigarettes, this ballot initiative would generate more than $855 million per year to fund research on cancer and other tobacco-attributed diseases and proven tobacco control programs. California citizens will head to the polls on June 5, 2012, to vote on the measure.
?LIVESTRONG chairman and founder Lance Armstrong is also a proud member of the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Board of Directors. The organization aims to win the fight against the world?s leading cause of preventable death.
Get out there today and celebrate healthy living and those that have kicked the habit. If you’ve quit, share your success and tips with others. Set a good example. Are you trying to quit and need help finding resources? LIVESTRONG is here to help. Call us 1-855-220-7777 or go online to get help. We are here for you!