Cigarette Tax Increase Earns Oklahoma High Mark on Cancer-Fighting Public Policy

August 9, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY  – For the second year in a row, Oklahoma has made great progress when it comes to implementing policies and passing legislation to 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,”  Oklahoma now measures up to policy recommendations in three of the nine issue areas. The report was released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

“This 16th edition of the report shows how far we’ve come in passing policies proven to reduce suffering and death from cancer,” said ACS CAN Oklahoma Government Relations Director Justin Wood. “Implementing the $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes will save thousands of lives, and now it’s time to work on other 
proven cancer fighting policies – such as simply asking smokers to step outside so that all Oklahomans can breathe clean air. This report shows lawmakers a legislative path forward to improve cancer prevention efforts by continuing to curb tobacco use, which is vitally important here where lung cancer is the most diagnosed and deadly type of cancer.”

“How Do You Measure Up?” rates states in nine specific areas of public policy that can help fight cancer, including increased access to care through Medicaid, screening program funding, smoke-free laws, cigarette tax levels, tobacco prevention and cessation program funding, and cessation coverage under Medicaid. 

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 Oklahoma Measures Up:
Increased Access to Medicaid: Red
Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Funding: Yellow
Access to Palliative Care: Green
Pain Policy: Yellow
Cigarette Tax Rates: Green
Smoke-free Laws: Red
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Funding: Yellow                
Medicaid Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Services: Yellow
Indoor Tanning: Green

View the complete report and details on Oklahoma’s grades here

More Press Releases AboutSmoke-free, Tobacco Taxes, Oklahoma

Media Contacts

Adrienne M. Lynch
Senior Specialist, Division Media Advocacy