American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network honors Rep. Bennett
Longtime supporter of cancer-prevention efforts made his successful effort to quit smoking a public crusade in 2019
STATE HOUSE – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) honored Representative David A. Bennett today for his longtime support for its initiatives and for going public with his efforts to quit smoking this year.
Representative Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) forged an informal partnership with ACS CAN late last year, seeking the organization’s help to hold him publicly accountable in his effort to finally kick a 40-year addiction that he’d tried many times before to quit. The group’s government relations director, Robert Dulski, who already saw him frequently at the State House, began regularly checking in on the representative’s efforts, at the State House and by phone. ACS CAN started a social media hashtag #WatchBennettQuit. Local media did stories on his effort, providing a window into his very real struggle to kick the habit and hopefully encouraging others who want to improve their health and lives by quitting. The result was that people Representative Bennett knew, as well as people he’d never met, regularly asked him about his progress and encouraged him all year. The social pressure helped, and Representative Bennett has been cigarette-free since January.
He has also been a leader in promoting legislative efforts aimed at reducing Rhode Islanders’ exposure to carcinogens and at increasing their access to high-quality health care.
“We are honoring Representative Bennett for his continued leadership on cancer issues in the State House. For the last decade, he has been a leading legislative advocate for cancer patients and caregivers,” said Dulski, who presented the award to Representative Bennett. “We also want to recognize how courageous it was for Representative Bennett to make his tobacco-quit journey open to the public. As many know, quitting the use of tobacco products is not easy, and Representative Bennett made himself vulnerable by talking about how difficult it has been to quit over the 40-plus years he has been smoking. His story has inspired others to start their quit journey and reminded his colleagues in the legislature why we must make tobacco control a legislative priority.”
The award was presented today at ACS CAN’s sixth annual Rhode Island Research Breakfast at the Roger Williams Park Casino. The event included a discussion on the groundbreaking strides seen in cancer treatment and care in Rhode Island, and featured a panel of experts who highlighted the impacts of innovation in the health care sector.
IN PHOTO: Rep. David Bennett with his award from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903