2019 West Virginia Legislative Priorities

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.  ACS CAN supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem for all West Virginians.

The following highlights ACS CAN WV 2019 legislative priorities:

Reduce the burden of tobacco on West Virginia

  • Lead the way for a healthier West Virginia: restore the WV Tobacco Prevention and Control Program funding
    • Smoking is not only killing us, it’s bankrupting us. West Virginia can see faster declines in smoking rates and lung cancer deaths with a commonsense investment in our tobacco control programs. Funds should be allocated to tobacco prevention and cessation programs to help people quit smoking and educate children to never start.
  • Protect the right to breath smoke-free indoor air; help our communities save lives and improve health with comprehensive smoke-free workplaces
    • We are working with local communities across West Virginia to make restaurants, bars and all workplaces smoke-free, protecting all workers from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke. Elected officials must respect the choices of local community leaders and uphold existing local smoke- free decisions while preserving the right for other communities to make their own decisions on the health of their constituents
  • Raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21 will reduce tobacco use initiation by an estimated 25 percent in youth ages 15-17
    • 95 percent of adult smokers try their first cigarette before they turn 21. From the ages of 18 to 21, is also the time when many smokers transition from experimenting to regular use. E-cigarette use has increased 900 percent among high school students from 2011 to 2015.
  • Invest in our most valuable resource; keep our children tobacco-free
    • Tobacco price increase is one of the most effective strategies for keeping our kids from a tobacco addiction. In addition to helping people who smoke quit and reducing overall consumption. Raising tobacco excise taxes is an effective solution to help reduce the toll tobacco takes on the health of citizens and the health of our economy through state health care expenditures.
  • Help West Virginians quit tobacco use with barrier-free insurance coverage for tobacco cessation
    • Our health care providers know what is best for their patients who want to break the addiction to tobacco.All tobacco users should have access to a range of treatments to find the most effective cessation tools for them.
    • Support legislation requiring all West Virginia insurers, including Medicaid and private insurers, to cover treatments recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for tobacco cessation, including all seven Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications and all three forms of counseling without cost-sharing or prior authorization.

Invest in Critical Cancer Programs

  • Maintain funding for the West Virginia Cancer Registry.
  • Maintain funding for the Mountains of Hope West Virginia Cancer Coalition.
  • Maintain funding for the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Diagnostic and Treatment Fund.