CVS Health Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to Eight AACI Centers

The CVS Health Foundation has awarded $1 million in grants to eight Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) member cancer centers to build new smoking cessation programs or expand existing ones across the country, enabling each cancer institute to reach more at-risk patient populations.

Research from a 2014 American Cancer Society report demonstrates the seriousness of tobacco cravings among cancer patients and the need for better long-term cessation support. The study finds even nine years after being diagnosed with cancer, nearly 10 percent of survivors still smoke cigarettes – and more than 80 percent smoke daily.

“AACI thanks the CVS Health Foundation for its important commitment to promoting tobacco cessation and improving cancer treatment outcomes,” said AACI Executive Director Barbara Duffy Stewart, MPH. “While all of AACI’s 97 cancer centers champion prevention efforts as they work to reduce the burden of cancer, the new grants targeting tobacco use will extend and expand the vital educational, screening and outreach efforts undertaken by the eight AACI member cancer centers that have been awarded funding.”

The eight cancer centers, which received funding between $100,000 and $130,000 each, include: Abramson Cancer Center (Philadelphia); Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Cleveland); Hollings Cancer Center (Charleston, SC); Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle); Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (Scottsdale); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York); Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center (Dallas); and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (Los Angeles).

The support will be used in a variety of ways including developing educational videos, enhancing screening protocols, hiring wellness coaches and tobacco treatment specialists and developing smoking cessation apps. Through the additional support, patients have already begun to see results in their attempts to quit smoking.