November 1, 2011 – The campaign to pass a June 2012 ballot initiative, the California Cancer Research Act (CCRA), today unveiled a new website inviting Californians to honor loved ones whose lives have been lost to cancer, heart and lung disease, and to those still enduring treatments. The new website’s “Wall of Honor”, at www.californiansforacure.org/honor/book, was created after the campaign experienced the loss of two of its own board members to cancer this year.
CCRA campaign board member Laura Ziskin, a celebrated Hollywood producer and co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), lived with breast cancer for 7 years before passing away in June. CCRA campaign board member Dave Tuchsen, a former Marin high-school teacher, died in June after a 6-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Sung Poblete, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer, said of CCRA’s new initiative, “It goes to the heart of what SU2C’s support for CCRA is about. The work of this campaign is the work of honoring everyone who’s lived with cancer, who’s fought cancer, and everyone who is in the fight now. And a win for CCRA will honor us all.”
According to a recent report by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), more than 570,000 people died of cancer in the United States. There are also currently more than 12 million cancer survivors1. One in two men, and one in three women, will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes and the AACR report calls for intensified efforts to eradicate cancer as a major threat to American lives2.
If passed, the initiative will raise $585M annually for research into smoking-related diseases through a $1 excise on tobacco sales, threatening the tobacco industry’s stranglehold on California’s tobacco tax. Despite overwhelming evidence that raising the cost of smoking significantly deters current and future smokers3, California’s tobacco tax is the 17th lowest in the U.S. and has remained untouched since 1998 (only two other states, Missouri & North Dakota, have left tobacco excise unaltered this century)4.
The California Cancer Research Act will also boost California’s smoking-cessation programs with $156M annually. The initiative is projected to save 104,500 Californians from premature smoking-caused deaths, and prevent 228,700 kids from becoming addicted adult smokers5.
1 American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer Progress Report 2011 (AACR, 2011, pp. 12-13)
2 Ibid., p.6
3 Ann Boon, Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking, Especially Among Kids (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, August 26, 2011; available here)
4 Ann Boon, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, June 28, 2011; available here)
5 Boon & Lindblom, New Revenues, Public Health Benefits & Cost Savings from a $1
Cigarette Tax in California (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, November 2009; available here