Global Cancer Prevention

"Tax & Vax"

Our vision is to eliminate preventable cancers through high impact cancer prevention initiatives, particularly in low and middle-income countries where the burden of cancer deaths is highest.

Our current global initiatives emphasize two highly effective and underused best buys for population health and cancer prevention: tobacco taxation and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

We focus our efforts on these two interventions as both are:

  • Evidence-based, highly impactful interventions for preventing cancer
  • Not well used in countries where the cancer burden is highest, in part because they are not framed as life-saving cancer prevention initiatives
  • Highly effective interventions for adolescents, an age group often overlooked yet critical to addressing risk factors that can prevent cancer in adulthood

To increase the adoption and scale-up of tobacco taxation and HPV vaccination, ACS is leveraging its strengths to:

  • Share its resources and expertise, and build partner capacity in research, education, communications, and advocacy
  • Provide guidance to local cancer organizations to develop and sustain relevant partnerships to:

    • Create awareness and demand for tobacco taxation and HPV vaccination as key cancer prevention strategies
    • Mobilize partners to work with their national governments to prioritize tobacco taxation and HPV vaccination as cancer prevention

    HPV Related Cancers

    HPV Cancer Free

    The goal of the HPV Cancer Free program is to influence and strengthen country partners’ national and state efforts to increase HPV vaccination rates and reduce disparities.

    Many countries, including the US, have struggled with messaging to the public and policy makers about the safety and effectiveness of the HPV vaccine. Many people are also unaware that it can prevent six types of cancer. As a result, uptake of, and adherence to, the HPV vaccine have been low worldwide.

    The Global HPV Cancer Free program will:

    • Engage with global partners to develop consistent messaging to frame HPV vaccination as cancer prevention
    • Strengthen capacity of country partners to develop and rollout effective education and communication programs to promote the HPV vaccine
    • Motivate cancer partners to take the lead in bringing together innovative partnerships to make the HPV vaccine routine cancer prevention 

    All of Me

    The Global Prevention team is supporting several country partner projects under our former “All of Me” program that was created to encourage improved local education and communication on all the things a women and girl could do throughout her lifetime to reduce her cancer risk.  Our site will be under repair for a short while but we will soon be posting progress reports on all these vital projects.  

    Expanding Tobacco Control Efforts

    A wide range of policies can influence how populations are exposed to cancer risk factors. Because tobacco use is the largest single source of cancer deaths worldwide, we believe that the cancer control community must take up the call to support policies that can help reduce tobacco consumption and prevent potential new users from starting. 

    Making Tobacco Products Less Affordable

    Making tobacco products less affordable is the single most effective tobacco control intervention to reduce tobacco use and cancer deaths. This is why our current strategy focuses on tobacco taxation policy as a smart solution for cancer prevention. 


    Through the Prevent20 coalition, members can access a growing number of tools and resources being developed by our ACS Global Cancer Prevention (GCP) and Economic and Health Policy Research (EHPR) teams. In conjunction, members have a unique opportunity for ongoing engagements with our EHPR experts through our Technical Assistance and Peer Exchange (TAPE) program.

    Watch this video to learn more about why tobacco taxes are such a high impact intervention for cancer prevention.

    Technical Assistance and Peer Exchange (TAPE)

    Our ACS Global Cancer Prevention (GCP) and Economic Health Policy Research (EHPR) teams work together to inspire, support, and equip cancer organizations to take a lead on promoting sustained and impactful tobacco tax increases with their national governments. Often, what is needed to build the demand and support for impactful tobacco taxes is targeted research, not only on tobacco taxation directly, but other areas that influence a government's decision whether to increase taxes, such as affordability, illicit trade, livelihoods, and poverty.

    Our Technical Assistance and Peer Exchange (TAPE) program leverages our in-house EHPR experts to engage with the appropriate local research partners to identify and work on the most pressing research questions that will influence governments to overcome some of the perceived barriers to raising tobacco taxes to an optimal level. We are committed to working with local experts and government officials on an ongoing basis and for the long-term.

    Using both strategic in-house investment and joint partnerships with key allies, our current global efforts are in the following countries and regions: Mercosur, Argentina, Chile, ACS and Cancer Research UK (PROACTT): Colombia, Bangladesh, Peru, ACS and Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control: Brazil and Mexico, World Bank: Indonesia, and  FCTC Secretariat: Zambia.

    A Global Reference in Tobacco Control: The Tobacco Atlas

    The Tobacco Atlas, a joint publication of the Society and Vital Strategies (formerly World Lung Foundation) is the most comprehensive, informative, and accessible resource on the pressing issues in the evolving tobacco epidemic. The first edition of the Tobacco Atlas was published by the WHO in 2002 to meet the growing need for global and country-specific data on tobacco control issues such as consumption among adults, dangers to health, etc. Sixteen years later, the sixth edition of the Atlas and its fully-featured website, released in March 2018, explores every key facet of tobacco control, demonstrating that we already have the proven tools to fight the tobacco epidemic effectively—we just have to have the will to use them.

    The Society is proud to offer this resource, which you can consult and download for free at tobacco, to tobacco control advocates around the world.

    Longstanding Tobacco Control Partnerships

    Over the years, the Society had the honor and privilege of supporting a number of tobacco control partnerships that were instrumental in offering the tobacco control community key resources, tools and technical guidance to protect populations from the harms of tobacco use. 

    The African Tobacco Control Consortium

    What we do: From 2009-2014, the Society collaborated on a 5-year project called the African Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC). The ATCC promoted evidence-based tobacco control and laid the groundwork for ongoing comprehensive policy work in sub-Saharan Africa aimed at stopping the emerging epidemic. The ATCC was a coalition coordinated by the American Cancer Society in partnership with the Africa Tobacco Control Alliance, Framework Convention Alliance, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. The ATCC ended in 2014 and was funded primarily through an $8 million grant awarded to the Society by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Download a PDF brochure about ATCC for more information.

    Where we work: sub-Saharan Africa

    How to partner with us: This program ended in 2014. 

    The Global Smokefree Worksite Challenge

    What we do: The Global Smokefree Worksite Challenge (GSWC) was a global, multi-sector initiative for employers to make their worksites smoke-free or completely tobacco-free. The GSWC assisted employers in establishing smoke-free worksites and broadening their policies to establish completely tobacco-free campuses when appropriate. Along with Johnson & Johnson, the Mayo Clinic, GBCHealth, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Society was a proud founding partner of this initiative aimed at protecting populations from secondhand smoke in the workplace setting. 

    Where we work: Worldwide initiative

    How to partner with us: After the initiative came to an end in 2016, the Society committed to ensuring the availability of the high-quality tools developed over the years. Access the materials here

    Global Bridges

    What we do: Global Bridges is a worldwide science-based initiative created with the aim of uniting health care providers in their efforts to treat tobacco dependence while advocating for effective tobacco control policies. This collaborative partnership between the Mayo Clinic and the Society brings together health care providers with complementary expertise to build awareness about the harms of tobacco use, enhance access to proven treatment methods, adapt to regional needs, and increase the pace of skill development throughout each of the World Health Organization’s six regions. 

    Where we work: Worldwide initiative 

    How to partner with us: You can find out more about Global Bridges on their website or by following the initiative on Twitter