American Association for Cancer Research

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AACR Recognizes One-year Anniversary of Tobacco Law and the Additional Provisions Taking Effect Today; Calls for More Research to Combat Tobacco Epidemic


June 22, 2010

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Cancer Research recognizes the first anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2009.

The law empowered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the marketing, advertising and manufacturing of tobacco products. Provisions that go into effect today include restrictions on youth access to tobacco products, enhanced warning labels on smokeless tobacco products, and a ban on the use of deceptive terms such as “light” or “mild.”

“While most people know that cigarette smoking causes cancer, we need to do a far better job of educating the public about the risks of all tobacco products,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “In fact, there is sufficient scientific evidence to causally link tobacco use to cancers at 18 different organ sites. For example, smokeless tobacco alone can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, and new smokeless tobacco labels will help to deliver that message.”

Starting today, smokeless tobacco product labels must be larger, and incorporate messages including that smokeless tobacco is addictive and can cause mouth cancer.

“With nearly a third of all cancer deaths caused by tobacco use, it is imperative that the research community come together to support the FDA in its efforts to establish a science-based framework for evaluating the harms caused by tobacco products,” said Chairperson of the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer Roy S. Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and chief of the section of thoracic medical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. “To fully combat the tobacco epidemic, more research is needed across the spectrum of tobacco use and attendant disease, from tobacco control — prevention of initiation, fostering cessation, and countering addiction — to preventing, treating and curing tobacco-related disease.”

“Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, and I am delighted that the AACR is fully committed to working with the global community to reach the ultimate goal of a tobacco-free world,” said AACR President Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Morris Herzstein professor of biology and physiology in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.

On April 13, 2010, the AACR issued an urgent call for immediate action to stem the global tide of tobacco-related death and suffering and to improve public health in a comprehensive policy statement on tobacco and cancer published in Cancer Research, a journal of the AACR. The statement is free and is available at http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/70/9/3419.full.pdf+html.

Read more about the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 31,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowship and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Michele Leiberman
(267) 646-0622
michele.leiberman@aacr.org