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Biden Cancer Moonshot Misses Mark

The White House has released further details about President Biden’s Cancer Plan as part of his Unity Agenda, but it “misses the mark” according to the World Vapers' Alliance

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President Joe Biden has unveiled what is claimed to be “an ambitious plan” to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years. It consists of an impressive list of actions but fails to make any mention of the part vaping could play in combatting tobacco-related harm. The World Vapers' Alliance (WVA) says it “misses the mark” and called upon the Biden Administration to join countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden in prioritising tobacco harm reduction.

Proposals in the Cancer Moonshot include:

  • $240 million in additional investment this year to accelerate new ways to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer
  • A new “biomedical data fabric toolbox” to advance cancer research progress
  • New investments to reduce the impact of menthol and other flavoured commercial tobacco products in communities that experience health disparities
  • A new plan to decrease the impact of smoking on Americans’ health by expanding efforts to prevent smoking and to support everyone who wants to quit
  • A new pilot program to increase veteran engagement in tobacco use treatment
  • New resources and actions to reduce exposures to environmental carcinogens
  • Leveraging research in space to fight cancer on earth and amplifying awareness on cancer screening

In particular, it also lays out plans where CVS Health will be, “launching an expanded smoking cessation program in a dozen states. In addition to their currently offered smoking cessation and counselling, CVS Health will launch a comprehensive smoking cessation assessment, prescribing and counselling program at its retail pharmacies in 12 states”.

The World Vapers' Alliance said: “The President's cancer moonshot initiative aims to reduce smoking rates, but the WVA argues that it could be far more effective by embracing less harmful alternatives to smoking, such as vaping.”

Michael Landl, Director of the WVA, states, "If President Biden is serious about beating cancer, then embracing tobacco harm reduction is not just an option, it's a necessity. Sweden and the United Kingdom are leading examples that have proven the effectiveness of vaping and other less harmful products in reducing smoking rates. Instead of fighting less harmful alternatives, the Biden Administration needs to embrace vaping as a smoking cessation aid."

The administration plans to invest $15 million in smoking cessation programs targeting menthol and flavoured tobacco use.

Landl suggests, "While these funds aim to reduce smoking among marginalized groups, their impact would be more significant if it included harm-reducing alternatives.

"To achieve the desired outcomes in cutting cancer-related deaths, it's imperative that the United States foster a comprehensive harm reduction strategy that acknowledges vaping's potential to save lives. Many smokers fail to quit, so to beat cancer we need to get real about that and encourage the use of less harmful alternatives such as vaping.”

The WVA argues that the Biden administration needs an inclusive strategy that incorporates a range of less harmful alternatives to smoking.

"Flavour bans, high taxation on safer nicotine products, and the overly bureaucratic FDA approval process must end immediately," says Landl.

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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