Los Angeles – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) announced today that both candidates for California’s 51st Assembly District runoff accepted ACS CAN’s challenge to not take special interest contributions from tobacco companies. Assembly candidates Wendy Carrillo and Luis Lopez say they support the Snuff Tobacco Money Out of California Politics pledge and will refrain from taking tobacco money.
The tobacco industry has spent more than $100 million in California in the last five years on campaign contributions and lobbying to prevent the passage of public health policies that help people stop smoking, reduce tobacco use and result in fewer cancer deaths. This is in addition to the industry spending over $580 million on marketing each year in California to replace dying customers.
ACS CAN first issued its Snuff Tobacco Money Out of California Politics challenge in July, 2014 to all candidates and officeholders at the state level. The General Election for AD 51 will be held on December 5, 2017.
“California made great strides in tobacco control last year including voter approval of a $2 tobacco tax increase as well as passage of an historic string of legislation that included raising the tobacco sales age to 21 and regulating e-cigarettes. The public has been loud and clear about the toll of tobacco use on public health,” said ACS CAN California Managing Director Jim Knox. “However, we have a lot more to do to protect Californians against second-hand smoke and the overall health care costs associated with tobacco, which averages more than $13 billion in California annually.”
Another area of public health advocacy that Big Tobacco continues to pour money into fighting is restrictions on the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, many of which target youth, communities of color and populations already coping with health inequities. For decades, the tobacco industry has marketed heavily to communities of color, spending roughly $2 billion annually advertising menthol and other flavored tobacco products.
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Primo Castro American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network