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Letter to the Editor: Make Tobacco Control a Permanent Budget Item

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received May 26, 2023.

Recently released data shows that in 2023, nearly 23,500 people in Connecticut will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 6,000 will lose their lives to the disease. Lawmakers can play a key role in bringing these numbers down by supporting fact-based policies proven to reduce cancer related death and disease.

Last year the legislature made a significant investment in the health of Connecticut’s residents, by funding $12 million to fight tobacco use. Given that nearly one third of cancer deaths in our state are tobacco-related, investments in fact-based tobacco control programs can have a direct impact on the burden of cancer in Connecticut—which is a win for everyone. Now is the perfect time for lawmakers across the state to recommit to funding these lifesaving programs in the state budget.

Each year in Connecticut tobacco use kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. And thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes—such as fires caused by smoking and smokeless tobacco use.

As a cancer survivor, and on behalf of the tens of thousands of others in our state who will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone, I urge our Representatives and Senators to prioritize the health of Connecticut residents by supporting $12 million in annual funding to fight tobacco use in our state.

Donna Rogers                                                      Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network  Higganum

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