The American Cancer Society Updates Policy On Smokeless Tobacco and Vaping, But Comes up Short on Legislative Recommendations. Full report Here
In a new tobacco policy framework released June 11, 2018, The American Cancer Society recognizes that the myriad of death and disease from tobacco comes primarily from combustible tobacco. And, the ACS recognizes that the public fails to recognize that smoke less products are safer than continuing to smoke. The ACS writes, “ACS will provide smokers and the public with clear and accurate information available on the absolute and relative health impact of combustible tobacco products, nicotine‐based medications, ENDS and other novel tobacco products.7, 8 In partnership with others, ACS will increase its efforts to guide smokers toward evidence‐based cessation options that enable them to quit as quickly as possible and eliminate their exposure to combustible tobacco smoke. At the same time, ACS will deliver a clear and vital message: All smokers should cease combustible tobacco use as soon as possible and ACS will aid them in achieving that goal.” (bold text added for emphasis by MSF.)
Missouri Smoke Free believes that it’s great that ACS has finally recognized that smokeless tobacco products are safer than smoking. However, the reality is the American Cancer Society’s lobbying arm ACS-CAN (Cancer action network) will still pursue inappropriate legislative goals in light of their new findings. ACS states that ACS-CAN will continue to advocate for:
- Tobacco 21 which raises the age of all tobacco products to a purchase age of 21. We find this frustrating given that the majority of smokers start smoking before the age of 18. Moving the purchase price of reduced harm products to 21 will delay quit attempts by young adults.
- Indoor Smoke Free Air Acts The ACS-CAN will continue to misinform policy makers that vapor products should be lumped in with smoke free air laws. We disagree with this policy as the vapor produced by e-cigarettes warrants no concern to bystanders. Allowing private business owners to set their own indoor vaping policy will provide an incentive to smokers wishing to transition to non combustible products.
While we applaud The American Cancer Society for publicly recognizing that smokers who cannot quit should switch to safer smoke free nicotine alternatives and smokeless tobacco, In good faith we cannot give an endorsement based on their continued poor legislative pursuits.