WASHINGTON, D.C.: Cardiothoracic surgeon Timothy W. Mullett, MD, MBA, FACS, chair of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC), will participate today in a forum hosted by the White House focused on expanding equitable access to smoking cessation programs.

The event is part of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which includes efforts to reduce the burden of preventable cancers, including tobacco-related cancers.

Dr. Mullett, who also serves as medical director of the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate and Research Networks at the University of Kentucky, is available to speak to reporters in-person in D.C. or virtually about this historic effort.

Event Details: The event will be held today June 1 from 2-5 PM ET at the White House Complex, Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Livestream: Watch the opening session starting at 2 PM ET here.

“Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the country, killing more people than prostate, breast, and colon cancers combined,” Dr. Mullett said. “Despite improved education on the dangers of smoking, we know that smoking remains one of the largest risk factors for developing lung cancer. If we can help provide effective and practical smoking cessation programs to more Americans, we can greatly reduce deaths from lung cancer.”

“I’m grateful that smoking cessation is an essential part of the Cancer Moonshot discussion because it is essential that we raise awareness about this issue. All of us physicians need to be having more frank conversations with our patients about smoking cessation. It can not only reduce the risk of getting cancer, but it can also reduce the risk of dying from other smoking-related illnesses that may occur during or after cancer treatment.”

Most adults who smoke cigarettes report wanting to quit, but fewer than one in ten succeed in quitting each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1. Smoking cessation programs provide smokers with practical and individualized ways to quit smoking, including counseling and access to medications such as nicotine replacement therapies. Using evidence-based approaches, these programs can increase the chances of effective intervention2.

At the White House forum, Dr. Mullett will be among a group of leaders who will provide real-world guidance on ways to help reduce the incidence of cancer by identifying barriers and increasing access to smoking cessation programs.

Through his work at the ACS and the University of Kentucky, Dr. Mullett spearheads research on improving the quality of cancer care through CoC accreditation and leads cancer prevention efforts, including in Kentucky, which has one the highest rates of lung cancer.

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  1. “Smoking Cessation: Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 21, 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/smoking-cessation-fast-facts
  2. “Smoking Cessation—The Role of Healthcare Professionals and Health Systems.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 24, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgr/2020-smoking-cessation/fact-sheets/healthcare-professionals-health-systems/index.html.


About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 87,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. "FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.