2020 Virginia Legislative Priorities

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 Virginia residents touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2020, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the Virginia General Assembly in support of the following priorities:

Reducing the Toll of Tobacco

  • Tobacco Taxes: ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products to parallel the new rate. 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.  We encourage lawmakers to use funds from the tobacco taxes to fund and sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

  • Access to Care: Supporting the Virginia Medicaid program by defeating Short Term Heath Care plans, Association Health Care plans, and Catastrophic Health Care plans.
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN will advocate to increase current funding of $405 thousand for the state breast and cervical cancer screening early protection program. This program, administered by the Virginia Department of Health, aides low-income uninsured and underinsured women.

Quality of Life

  • Protecting Access to Pain Medication for Cancer Patients: ACS CAN will monitor legislative proposals regarding the prescribing of opioid pain medications and advocate for a balanced approach that promotes safe prescribing and dispensing of pain management medication that does not interfere with access to these medicines for the cancer patients and survivors who need them.

Skin Cancer Prevention

  • Indoor Tanning Devices: ACS CAN will advocate for a state law to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices by those under the age of 18, ensure all consumers are properly informed of their risk prior to use, and require all indoor tanning devices to be properly regulated with effective enforcement provisions in place.

Cancer Research Funding

  • Research Appropriations:  ACS CAN will work to protect/increase appropriations to support scientific research on cutting-edge treatments.

For more information, contact: Brian Donohue, Virginia Government Relations Director ACS CAN  

[email protected]  Phone: 202-617-4502


The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network • www.acscan.org/virginia

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.