A panel of health experts met recently at Duke-Raleigh Hospital to discuss the potential impact of county and municipal bans on smoking in North Carolina, America's largest tobacco-producing state, the Cancer Action Network reported.
"Clearing the Air: Going Smoke-Free Locally in NC"
was sponsored by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action
Network (ACS CAN). The forum included experts from North Carolina’s
Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, the University of North
Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, Wake County’s
Board of Commissioners and ACS CAN.
Although 25 U.S. state have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws,
and approximately 60 percent of the American population lives in
states or localities that have banned public smoking, no such laws
exist in North Carolina, the ACS said.
“We were thrilled to have such a distinguished panel of
national, regional and state experts here today to examine ways that
we might address the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in
the state,” Ray Riordan, grassroots manager for ACS CAN in North
Carolina, said. “Learning about what has worked to lower
tobacco-use rates in other communities around the country gives our
counties and municipalities a road map for what they can do to reduce
instances of cancer, heart disease and other conditions caused by
The ACS said tobacco use kills approximately 14,200 North
Carolinians a year, and that a recent study indicates that more than
30 percent of all cancer deaths in the state can be tied directly to
Tobacco remains the leading cash crop in North Carolina,
generating more than $700 million a year, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
Cancer forum takes on leading tobacco state
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