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Giving Compass' Take:
• Robert McMillen aims to show that a combination of hard-hitting media prevention campaigns, strict laws and higher taxes can reduce the numbers of teens who start smoking and nudge adults smokers toward quitting. This, to him, can be an effective "vaccine" to prevent lung cancer.
• How can donors help fund prevention campaigns? What other actions can we take to decrease lung cancer rates?
• Find out what philanthropies can do to impact lung cancer research.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the country, and almost 90 percent of deaths from this disease are directly attributable to cigarette smoking. Many cancers, such as breast cancer, that were once a death sentence are now treatable, yet lung cancer survival rates remain below 20 percent. A cure may be elusive, but the medical community can stop this disease and eliminate most future lung cancer deaths.
Most lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking, and smoking is a socially influenced behavior. People tend to catch it from tobacco marketing and by modeling smokers. Tobacco companies spend more than a million dollars an hour to market their products in order to recruit new smokers.
I am a tobacco control researcher who has studied ways to stop the disease. There is a vaccine to smoking, and you don’t even have to get a shot. Scientists have more than 60 years of research on how to get people to quit smoking and prevent teens from starting to smoke.
Read the full article about a lunch cancer vaccine by Robert McMillen at The Conversation.