Prevention in Action: Advocacy Workshop in June and FDA’s ban on menthol cigarettes

Published on April 30, 2021

Prevention in Action | Advocacy news for cancer prevention & early detection

Registration opening soon! Prevent Cancer Advocacy Workshop 2021

The Prevent Cancer Foundation will host its annual Advocacy Workshop virtually on June 17, 2021. The Workshop will bring together patients, providers, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders to engage in a dialogue around emerging innovation in cancer prevention and detection with a focus on multi-cancer early detection screening tests. Multi-cancer early detection is a groundbreaking new type of cancer screening tests that utilize advances in genomic science and machine learning to transform cancer detection. 

Today, routine screening is available for only five types of cancer, which leaves the vast majority of cancers without available screening tests. But when cancer is detected early, nine of every 10 cancer patients will live five years or longer.

As a Workshop participant, you’ll gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of multi-cancer early detection tests and discuss considerations for a patient-centered approach.

We have an exciting lineup of speakers and panelists confirmed, including a keynote from Representative Terri Sewell (D-Ala.). As previously reported, Rep. Sewell, along with a bipartisan group of colleagues, introduced the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021, which will remove barriers to innovative multi-cancer screening technologies for America’s seniors.

Visit our website for the full agenda and check back often—registration will open soon. 

Prevent Cancer Foundation applauds FDA proposal to eliminate menthol cigarettes

On Thursday, April 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is proposing a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars in the United States. The Prevent Cancer Foundation supports the FDA and the Biden Administration in prohibiting menthol cigarettes, as cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and is linked to several other types of cancer as well as other serious diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Menthol enhances the effects of nicotine and masks the harshness of tobacco, making cigarettes more addictive, easier for kids to begin smoking and harder for smokers to quit, and disproportionally harm the health of Black Americans.

The FDA and its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee have repeatedly concluded that eliminating menthol cigarettes would benefit public health in the United States, especially among Black Americans. A recent study estimated that, from 1980 to 2018, menthol cigarettes were responsible for 10.1 million extra smokers, 378,000 premature deaths and 3 million life years lost in the U.S.

By taking bold action, the FDA can protect kids from tobacco addiction, save lives and reduce health disparities. Black Americans have long been targeted by the tobacco industry with predatory marketing for menthol cigarettes and have paid an enormous price in health and lives. Today 85% of Black smokers smoke menthol cigarettes, compared to less than 10% in the 1950s. Largely because of menthol cigarettes, Black smokers have a harder time quitting smoking and die at higher rates from tobacco-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the elimination of menthol cigarettes even more urgent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that smoking increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which has disproportionately harmed Black Americans and other communities of color.

We strongly support FDA action eliminate menthol cigarettes and urge the FDA to move expeditiously to propose, finalize and implement the regulations to do so.

Want to quit? People who quit smoking have a higher risk of cancer than people who never smoked, but a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to smoke. Quitting smoking at any age can have a huge impact on your overall cancer risk. Learn more about how to reduce your risk of lung cancer.

The CDC also has free resources for support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials and referrals to local resources. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

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