Governor Carney please fully fund cancer and tobacco control programs
Dear [Decision Maker],
We've come a long way during the last several decades in understanding complex diseases like cancer. Researchers have discovered better screening tools to diagnose diseases early and better treatment options to improve health outcomes and patients' quality of life. Just as important, we've learned how to prevent many cancers altogether. By reducing tobacco use, a product that will kill nearly half a million people in the U.S. this year, we can prevent roughly one-third of all cancer deaths.
Ending tobacco addiction isn't easy. In fact, tobacco is not only more addictive, it's more deadly than it was 50 years ago. Despite smoking rates declining over the last several decades, the risk for smoking-related disease and mortality is not following a similar trend. People who smoke today actually have a higher risk of lung cancer and other debilitating diseases than they did 50 years ago. In Delaware, an estimated 510 residents will die from lung cancer this year alone.Several years ago, Delaware's cancer death rates were some of the worst in the nation. Thankfully, we turned that around. Our cancer death rate has dropped faster than almost anywhere in the country thanks to programs like Delaware's Screening for Life. Still, this year over 5,000 Delawarean's will hear the words "you have cancer". We need to continue to invest in proven prevention, early detection and survivorship programs to keep cancer deaths in Delaware from climbing again.
While understanding there are many competing priorities in any state budget, improving public health by preventing kids from using tobacco, helping adults quit and providing Delawareans access to cancer screenings, is a proven and worthwhile investment. Governor, we ask that you maintain level funding for tobacco and cancer control programs so we can continue to lower the incidence and mortality of cancer in Delaware.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]