Cancer Society Names Senator Hill State Legislator of the Year

August 13, 2020

Courtesy of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network California

Senator Jerry Hill Receives 2020 State Legislator of the Year Award

Cancer-Fighting Awards Bestowed by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Senator Jerry Hill has been named State Legislator of the Year, a prestigious honor bestowed by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in recognition of his work championing legislation to protect California kids and communities of color from a potentially lethal addiction to tobacco.

Senate Bill 793, authored by Sen. Hill, would end the sale of flavored tobacco products in California and help address the youth e-cigarette epidemic as well as finally eliminate menthol cigarettes that for decades have led to high rates of lung cancer in communities of color. Big Tobacco has mercilessly targeted African Americans since the 1960s with the heavy marketing of menthol cigarettes.

“I am grateful beyond measure for this honor from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “Safeguarding Californians, particularly our young people and vulnerable communities, from the depredations of tobacco has been a priority for me throughout my career. I count myself fortunate to have been able to work with ACS CAN and other steadfast advocates for public health toward our shared goals.”

Most flavored cigarettes were taken off the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009, but the federal restrictions did not include menthol-flavored cigarettes, nor did the flavoring restrictions apply to all tobacco products including e-cigarettes, which helped fuel the skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes in recent years among middle and high schoolers.

“Senator Hill is a fierce advocate for protecting Californians from the ravages of tobacco-related diseases,” said Jim Knox, managing director, ACS CAN California. “His legislation to rid store shelves of flavored tobacco products will save lives in California and set an example for the rest of the country to follow.”

ACS CAN California, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, selects a state legislator each year who has demonstrated leadership and commitment in cancer-related public policy advocacy. The award was presented tonight during ACS CAN’s 2020 California’s Legislative Reception.

Other legislative honorees at this year’s virtual ACS CAN Legislative Reception included Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen for his work helping pass comprehensive flavored tobacco restrictions in Sacramento last year and Senator Lena Gonzalez who took a public stance against Big Tobacco by saying no to political contributions from tobacco companies.

About ACS CAN

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit http://www.fightcancer.org.

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ACS CAN Media Contact: Region Media Advocacy Director Stephanie Winn, steph.winn@cancer.org, 916-802-4033