Lincoln, Neb., – February 6, 2020 – Cancer advocates of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) from across the state traveled to the Nebraska State Capitol today to call on the Legislature to prioritize Nebraskans’ health and make the fight against cancer a top priority.
“Our advocates came from all over the state to speak to legislators about their personal connection with cancer and why putting Nebraskans’ health first is so important,” said ACS CAN Nebraska Government Relations Director Nick Faustman.
The visit was part of Cancer Action Day at the Capitol, which brought together cancer patients, survivors, their family and friends, and policy experts to encourage lawmakers to pass legislation to prohibit indoor tanning for youth under 18 to protect them from skin cancer and include e-cigarettes in the statewide smoke-free indoor air law.
Despite the many warnings about the dangers of indoor tanning, teenagers continue to use indoor tanning devices – increasing their exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause long-term skin damage and skin cancer. When young people use tanning devices before age 35, they increase their risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by 59 percent. Melanoma is the second most common cancer in young women 15-29 and Nebraska female high school seniors are the most frequent users of tanning devices. Senator Rick Kolowski introduced LB 140, which would increase the legal age to use indoor tanning devices to 18 in the state of Nebraska. ACS CAN strongly supports this legislation to help keep our teens safe from indoor tanning devices, which the World Health Organization classifies as “carcinogenic” to humans, the same classification as cigarettes.
Smoke-Free Air Law:
Everyone has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air and no one should have to choose between their health and paycheck. However, the current statewide smoke-free air law does not include e-cigarettes. We must protect workers and the public from harmful secondhand smoke exposure and to create communities that support tobacco-free living. The science is clear—there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Strong smoke-free laws are the only proven way to protect workers and patrons from secondhand smoke, while also helping people who currently smoke quit and keeping youth from starting altogether. LB 840, which includes e-cigarettes in the smoke-free air law, has been introduced at the statehouse and volunteers urged lawmakers to support this comprehensive legislation.
Cancer advocates were pleased to speak with their elected officials and look forward to continuing their conversations throughout the legislative session.