On August 3, Governor Parson, cancer survivors and health advocates met at the University of Missouri to celebrate the state’s new funding for tobacco cessation and prevention. In Missouri, smoking is responsible for 11,000 deaths in our state each year, including 31% of cancer deaths. Smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death.

The additional $2.5 million for Missouri’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is projected to:

  • Prevent 1,000 kids from growing up to be adults who smoke;

  • Mean 300 fewer kids growing up to die prematurely from smoking; and

  • Save the state $21 million in future health care expenditures.

“We know some of the tools to stop these needless deaths. Investing in programs to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help adults quit has a meaningful, measurable track record of success.” said Emily Kalmer, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “This is a huge step in the right direction. ACS CAN is committed to continuing to advocate with Governor Parson for these valuable investments in the health of our family, friends, and neighbors.”

“Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in Missouri, and we are taking action against its harmful effects and to encourage prevention with this historic funding in HB 3010,” Governor Mike Parson said. “This is the single largest investment in a tobacco cessation program in state history and is a step in the right direction to help protect the health of adults and children across the state of Missouri.”

This press release was originally published August 3, 2022, by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. It is republished with permission.