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Cancer society says proposal to shift more money to cancer research isn't best decision

Cancer society says proposal to shift more money to cancer research isn't best decision

More than 480,000 people die each year from smoking tobacco.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that's 1,300 people a day in the United States.

Programs like Tobacco Free Florida help persuade smokers to quit using advertisements in the state of Florida.

Miami-Dade Rep. wants to use the money for cancer research instead of ads.

However, the American Cancer Society does not want this to happen.

"We were fighting it initially because we believe that it's better to prevent cancer than to have to treat cancer. So our stance on it, we understand what the program is doing and how effective it is. As much as the American cancer society would love to have more money for cancer research, what we really want is no one to ever get cancer," said Matt Jordan, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), in Florida.

Jordan said the number of patients with tobacco-related illnesses will rise if the ads aren't around to prevent folks from smoking.

"Especially in low-income areas and with youth. Marketing is very effective and that's where we see the most damage among tobacco users. Not only does tobacco cause cancer, but it's the leading cause of preventable death in the state, so it's not just cancer we're talking about," said Jordan.

Jordan told Channel 3 that over the past 10 years, adult smoking rates went from 21 percent down to 15 percent.

Youth rates in Florida dropped from 11 percent to about 2 percent. He credits anti-tobacco marketing.

If you'd like your voice heard, folks have the chance to speak to the constitutional revision commission.

The only public hearing in our area is at the University of West Florida on February 27th.

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