Addressing Tobacco Addiction, Access to Care Among Priorities for Wisconsin Cancer-Fighting Advocates

ACS CAN urges legislature to implement public policies that reduce the cancer burden

January 12, 2021

Madison, WI –As we embark on a new legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) prompts legislators, state agencies and the Governor to promote public policies that help Wisconsinites prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

“Cancer has not stopped during the pandemic, so ACS CAN volunteers continue to work incessantly to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to the quality, affordable care they need when they need it,” said Sara Sahli, ACS CAN Wisconsin government relations director.

This year in Wisconsin, more than 36,000 people will hear the words “you have cancer” and will begin their battle against this disease. ACS CAN will focus on addressing health disparities that contribute to a higher cancer rate, later stage diagnoses and higher mortality rate among communities of color, low-income residents and other medically underserved groups. 

ACS CAN legislative priorities include:

  • Tobacco Taxes: As Wisconsin works to identify funding strategies to fund critical programs, ACS CAN will advocate to increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 or more per pack with an increase in the tax on other tobacco products including e-cigarettes to parallel the new cigarette tax 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. 
  • Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding:  ACS CAN will work to maintain current annual funding of $5.3 million for the program and sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs.
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening: ACS CAN will advocate to maintain current annual funding of $2.3 million for the Wisconsin Well Woman Program, the state breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment program for low-income uninsured and underinsured women administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health.
  • Medicaid & Expansion: ACS CAN will advocate to protect, preserve, improve and expand access to comprehensive health insurance coverage for low-income parents and adults earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level.
  • Telehealth: Telehealth provides cancer patients and survivors with a convenient means of accessing both cancer care and primary care – a particularly important option for individuals living in greater Wisconsin and the immunocompromised.

ACS CAN volunteers look forward to working with Wisconsin lawmakers in the fight against cancer. For more information on how policymakers, businesses, organizations and individuals play a role in defeating cancer, visit