2018 DC Council End of Year Summary

Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of District of Columbia residents touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2018, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) worked with DC Council in support of the following priorities:

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN advocated for funding for evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs at $10.7 million. Although the District of Columbia did not raise funding to $10.7 million, funding was raised to $1.9 million ($1 million from cigarette tax increase and the existing $905,000) due to the passage of the cigarette tax increase.
  • Tobacco Taxes: ACS CAN aided in raising the cigarette tax by $2 to $4.50 per pack, the nation’s highest state tax. Increasing the price of cigarettes and all other tobacco products through regular and significant tobacco tax increases helps to keep kids from starting to use tobacco and helps adults quit.  A total of $1.9 million of the revenues from the tobacco taxes to be used to fully fund and sustain evidence-based, citywide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.
  • Tobacco 21: ACS CAN worked with policymakers to successfully pass Tobacco 21, which increases the age of tobacco sale from 18 to 21 and helped to ensure allocation of $1.9 million to cessation programs.    


Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN advocated to increase funding for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program. This program provides low-income, underserved women access to lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screening, early detection, diagnostic and follow up services, as well as pathways to treatment services, if diagnosed with cancer.   


Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments (HEALE)

  • Healthy Beverages for Kids Meals:  ACS CAN supported the introduction of legislation with science-based nutrition standards for restaurant kids meals that include beverages.


Ensuring Access to Quality Care

  • Network Adequacy: ACS CAN worked to restrict the sale of substandard “short-term” health insurance which lacks essential benefits and can discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions like cancer.


For more information, contact: Jocelyn Collins, DC Government Relations Director ACS CAN  Jocelyn.collins@cancer.org  301-254-0072  


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard.