CONCORD, NH – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) looks ahead to what public health initiatives our lawmakers can accomplish in the 2021 legislative session particularly in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mike Rollo, director of government relations for ACS CAN in New Hampshire, lawmakers have the opportunity to reduce the cancer burden in the Granite State through the annual state budget. These initiatives include:
• Sustained funding for the Let No Woman be Overlooked Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Early detection saves lives: this program provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to women age 21-64 who have no health insurance or have insurance that does not pay for screening tests.
• Increased funding for youth outreach on e-cigarette use via the New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP). Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and New Hampshire, and can be attributed to one third of all cancer deaths. Over 33% third of New Hampshire youth use e-cigarettes – substantially higher than the national rate. TPCP is dedicated to the implementation of a comprehensive program designed to reduce the prevalence and consumption of tobacco use in New Hampshire, including addressing the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Not only does reducing tobacco use save lives, it saves long term healthcare costs incurred by the state to treat tobacco related death and disease.
• Increased funding for the State Office of Rural Health (SORH). The SORH offers technical assistance to rural health care providers and organizations, which in turn improves healthcare for people living in those areas. To reduce the cancer burden, it is critical all Granite Staters, including those in rural areas, have access to lifesaving cancer treatment and screenings.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us thinking about how we can live longer and healthier lives,” said Rollo. “Fortunately, New Hampshire lawmakers have several opportunities in this coming legislative session to reduce the cancer burden and ensure better health outcomes for all Granite Staters.”
Cancer patients, survivors and advocates look forward to meeting virtually with lawmakers over these issues during ACS CAN's annual Cancer Action Week beginning March 1st. ACS CAN encourages individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in these issues to reach out to ACS CAN to get involved in the fight against cancer at fightcancer.org/NH
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.