Cancer research to benefit from tobacco tax appropriation

Research programs at the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center are likely to benefit from revenues generated by the new tobacco tax.

Florida House and Senate conferees recently agreed to add $50 million in tobacco tax revenue to the James and Esther King and Bankhead-Coley Biomedical Trust Funds for cancer research — $25 million in each fund. In addition, $500,000 in tobacco tax monies will go toward maintaining the statewide Brain Tumor Registry Program at the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute at UF.

The programs encourage a coordinated, collaborative approach to preventing, treating and curing cancer and other tobacco-related diseases. The goal is to substantially reduce the state's high cancer burden, lowering the incidence of the disease and improving survival while positioning Florida as a leader in cancer research and development.

The additional revenue will open up funding opportunities for all of the state's cancer research centers, officials say, effective with the new budget year beginning July 1. The remainder of the new tobacco tax went into the state's general revenue pool.

"Cancer researchers and UF have benefited from the grants provided by these charities, which have enabled them to extend their studies further in understanding how to detect and attack cancer," said Joseph V. Simone, M.D., UF Shands Cancer Center director.

The James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program are administered by the Florida Department of Health's Office of Public Health Research. Any university or research institute in Florida may apply for grant funding through the programs, and all qualified investigators in the state, regardless of institution, have equal opportunity to compete for funding. All awards are made based on scientific merit, as determined by open competitive peer review.

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Melanie Fridl Ross's picture

Melanie Fridl Ross

Chief Communications Officer/ UFHealth, the University of Florida’s Academic Health Center

Chief communications officer for UF Health. She also serves as senior producer and managing editor for the public radio program Health in a Heartbeat, overseeing operations for the nationally aired...Read More