TALLAHASSEE, FL – February 20, 2020 – Today, the House Commerce Committee passed House bill 7089.
Arkansas Makes Progress on Some Cancer-Fighting Public Policies
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – While Arkansas has seen improvement in two important cancer-fighting policies, there is still work to be done prevent and reduce suffering and death from cancer. According to the latest edition of How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality, Arkansas measured up to policy recommendations in in just two of the eight evaluated issue areas. The report was released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
The 17th edition of the report highlights what must be done to reduce suffering and death from cancer.
“This year alone in Arkansas, it’s estimated that 16,500 people will be diagnosed with cancer,” said ACS CAN Arkansas Government Relations Director Michael Keck. “I urge our legislators to listen to our advocates when it comes to stopping Big Tobacco from further harming public health in Arkansas. This report provides lawmakers a legislative path forward to improve cancer prevention efforts and curb tobacco use – an urgent matter this state, where lung cancer is both the most diagnosed and deadly type of this disease. This year, we held strong on tobacco control and prevention program funding. But we can do more.”
How Do You Measure Up? rates states in eight specific areas of public policy that can help fight cancer: increased access to care through Medicaid, access to palliative care, balanced pain control policies, cigarette tax levels, smoke-free laws, funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, cessation coverage under Medicaid and restricting indoor tanning devices for people under 18.
Passing and implementing the policy recommendations in the report would not only save lives in Arkansas, but also save millions in long-term health care costs and in some cases would even generate additional, much-needed revenue.
A color-coded system classifies how well a state is doing in each issue. Green shows that a state has adopted evidence-based policies and best practices; yellow indicates moderate movement toward the benchmark and red shows where states are falling short.
How Arkansas Measures Up:
Increased Access to Medicaid Green
Access to Palliative Care Green
Pain Policy Yellow
Cigarette Tax Rates Yellow
Smoke-free Laws Red
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Funding Yellow
Medicaid Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Services Yellow
Indoor Tanning Red