2023 West Virginia Legislative Priorities
Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies promoting cancer prevention, early cancer detection, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of West Virginians touched by cancer, and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2022, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) will work with the West Virginia Legislature on legislative and regulatory efforts that address disruption in cancer care and screenings; provide affordable, adequate access to healthcare insurance, including Medicaid; as well as appropriations funding for lifesaving cancer screening and prevention policies that help people that use tobacco products quit and deter kids from ever using tobacco products. We will be making the following fact-based policies a priority and ask for your support:
Increase Funding for West Virginia’s Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Programs
- ACS CAN will work to increase funding for fact-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs to $16.5 million. Investing in comprehensive state tobacco control programs can prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help people already addicted to quit.
Protect Local Authority for Public Health Policies
- Local governments are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the people in their communities. ACS CAN supports their ability to pass laws that are proven to promote good health, well-being, and equality. Preserving local control is needed to pass innovative and proactive public health policies. ACS CAN works at the local, state, and federal levels; thus, it supports each level of government’s ability to implement policies to for cleaner, safer, healthier communities. The right of local governments to pass public health policies must be preserved to continue future advocacy efforts to reduce suffering and death from cancer.
Advocate for Significant Tobacco Tax Increases
- As the state works to fund critical programs, ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with an increase in the tax on all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Increasing the price of cigarettes and all other tobacco products through regular and significant tobacco tax increases helps prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and helps adults quit. Raising the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack would generate $108.4 million in new annual revenue, prevent 4,300 youth under 18 from becoming adults who smoke, help 12,300 adults who smoke quit, and save $333.81 million in long-term health care costs. Raising the tax on all other tobacco products to parallel the new cigarette tax would generate $29.8 million in new annual revenue as well as produce additional health and economic benefits for the state.
For more information, contact: Doug Hogan, Government Relations Director, ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network • www.fightcancer.org/WestVirginia