2020 Utah Priority Issues
2020 Priority State Issues
An estimated 11,620 Utahns were diagnosed with cancer in 2019, with an estimated 3,310 dying from the disease. Reducing these numbers relies as much on public policy as it does on proven medical research. Cancer is one of the most preventable and increasingly curable life-threatening diseases – but only if we take the steps necessary to prevent it outright, detect it early, and improve access to care. To this end, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Utah is working on the following legislative priorities in support of our mission to end cancer as a major health problem.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Indoor Tanning Devices: The greatest known risk factor for skin cancer is the use of indoor tanning devices. In the US, more than 6,000 cases of melanoma can be attributed to indoor tanning annually. Melanoma is of particular concern in Utah, as the state has the highest incidence of melanoma in the country. Unfortunately, the desire for a tanned appearance still causes many people, especially young adults and teenagers, to ignore the serious health risks and warning and use indoor tanning devices. ACS CAN is supporting legislation in 2020 that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using an indoor tanning device in the state of Utah.
Reducing the Toll of Tobacco
The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Surgeon General, and Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all declared youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. E-cigarette use among high school students has risen by 78 percent in the last year and 48 percent among middle school students. In 2019, 31.2% of high school students and 12.5% of middle school students reported using some type of tobacco product. Action is needed to reverse these trends and Utah is exploring numerous legislative solutions.
ACS CAN in Utah is concerned about all forms of tobacco use in the state and will advocate that e-cigarettes be defined, treated, regulated and taxed in the same manner as all other tobacco products.
Access to Medicaid
Maintaining access to quality, affordable, accessible, and comprehensive health care coverage and services is a matter of life and survivorship for thousands of low-income cancer patients and survivors in Utah. ACS CAN will continue to advocate for full expansion of Medicaid as passed by Utah voters in 2018; ACS CAN will also continue working to ensure that cancer patients and survivors have adequate access and coverage and that specific requirements do not create barriers to care for low-income cancer patients, survivors, and those who will be diagnosed with cancer.