Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Bravo to Heaton on fighting tobacco

By Raul Calderon, Jr. | Jun 27, 2013

I currently work part-time for the Iowa Cancer Consortium (ICC) and serve as a board member for the Iowa American Cancer Society (ACS). I would like to bring a few points to your attention and to that of your readers concerning the fight against cancer and lung cancer in particular.

Do you know how hard it is to quit smoking? Most smokers try multiple times before they are successful. Thanks to prevention programs currently in place in Iowa these programs help individuals addicted to tobacco quit, and successfully prevent youth from becoming Big Tobacco’s newest lifetime customers.

Thanks to Representative Dave Heaton and his colleagues, these woefully underfunded programs will receive $1.5 million more dollars starting next year. I’m so thankful Rep. Heaton sees the value in these critical programs. Since their inception, these programs has proven themselves successful by cutting adult smoking rates down below the national average and decreasing youth smoking rates by nearly 15 percent.

But while we’re making progress in the fight against tobacco, the tobacco industry continues to come up with new tricks to hook Iowa kids and keep adults addicted. That’s why it’s still the number one cause of preventable death in the nation. Tobacco claims the lives of more than 4,000 Iowans each year and costs the state more than $1 billion dollars in health care costs annually.

Thanks to Rep. Heaton’s leadership on this issue and the actions of the rest of the state legislature, Iowa will continue their effective work to reduce the burden of tobacco in our state, saving lives and money.

Thank you for your attention,

 

– Raul Calderon, Jr., Fairfield

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