As a member of CPRIT’s Scientific and Prevention Advisory Council (SPAC), I would like to applaud CPRIT for taking this bold step. In 2010, the SPAC tobacco subcommittee recommended that CPRIT adopt this policy, which we believed was a logical approach. As the Texas is becoming a leader in cancer research and programs, it only makes sense that the institutions carrying out this research don’t permit a leading cause of cancer on their campuses.
Smoking-related illnesses claim more than 440,000 lives annually in the United States. Almost one out of every three cancer deaths in the U.S.—160,000 people a year—is the result of tobacco use. Tobacco causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and has been strongly linked to cancers of the esophagus, bladder, pancreas, stomach, colon, cervix, liver, and kidney. If current patterns continue, 25 million Americans alive today, including 5 million children, will die prematurely from smoking related diseases.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation practices what we preach – we are currently a CEO Cancer Gold Standard company and have a 100% tobacco-free campus as part of the Gold Standard accreditation. We appreciate CPRIT’s leadership on this issue and is hopeful that CPRIT grantees will recognize that this is good policy.