Cancer Advocates Release 2016 Legislative Scorecard

Lawmakers Made Major Progress in Cancer Fight

July 17, 2017

Sacramento, CA – The voices of cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones are making a difference at the Capitol as evidenced by the critically-important cancer-fighting policies that passed the Legislature in 2016. The advocacy affiliate for the American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released its 2016 Legislative Scorecard today and gave high marks to California legislators who voted in support of an unprecedented package of tobacco control legislation last year. 

The legislative actions on the tobacco bills brought a halt to the tobacco industry’s lobbying influence that had blocked progress on key public health legislation for 20 years. The legislation, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in May 2016, will help prevent youth from a lifetime addiction to tobacco by regulating e-cigarettes, raising tobacco sales age to 21, increasing tobacco prevention and cessation funding, ensuring all K-12 school are tobacco-free as well as closing the loopholes in the state’s smoke-free workplace laws.

“Any one of these new laws can be viewed as the most significant tobacco control legislation enacted in nearly two decades,” said ACS CAN California Vice President Jim Knox.  “Together, they represent historic actions and move California, once again, to the forefront of the modern tobacco control movement. Most importantly, it will also prevent some of the 40,000 deaths that occur every year in this state due to tobacco use.”

The ACS CAN 2016 Legislative Scorecard illustrates the role each California legislator played during the session’s achievements and failures on cancer policy.  The scorecard covers a wide-range of cancer policy issues and holds lawmakers accountable for their voting record in the following cancer-related issue areas:

  • Access to care                                                 
  • Awareness and disparities
  • Environment
  • Healthy eating & active living
  • Research
  • Tobacco
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Palliative care


As the scorecard shows, there was tremendous progress in 2016, but much more needs to be done,” said Knox.  “This scorecard serves as a tool for the public, and anyone who cares about ending cancer, enabling them to get to know their representatives and their voting record when it comes to cancer-fighting policies.”

In California, more than 176,00 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year and, unfortunately, about 60,000 will die from the devastating disease.

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 national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit


Steph Winn-McCorkle
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
[email protected]
(916) 802-4033

Media Contacts

Steph Winn-McCorkle
Associate Director, Media Advocacy, Western Region
Sacramento, CA