According to a new report, Nevada’s statewide cancer policies are falling behind in many areas. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s annual “How Do You Measure Up?” report was released yesterday and compares Nevada to other states on a variety of cancer policy issues. Using a variety of metrics and rated on a “green,” “yellow,” or “red” scale, the report ranks the Silver State at yellow or red in many areas, indicating Nevada has a way to go in defeating cancer.
Some of Nevada’s ratings in the report include:
- Tobacco Excise Taxes: Yellow. The state excise tax on tobacco products stands at 80 cents, nearly half the national average of $1.51 per pack. Nevada also earned a red rating for cigarette tax and price increases.
- Tobacco Control Program Funding: Red. Nevada’s level of funding for prevention and cessation programs sits at 1 – 24.9% of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended funding levels. In fact, the state ranks at 44th for tobacco prevention spending.
- Indoor Tanning Beds: Green. Thanks to a bill passed in the last legislative session and effective July 1, 2013, Nevada is one of six states to ban indoor tanning for minors under 18. SB267 also requires safety warnings for consumers choosing to use indoor tanning facilities.
- Participation in Medicaid Expansion: Green. Nevada is participating in full Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, Nevada is one of 18 states to offer state-based health insurance marketplaces.
- Funding for Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Programs: Black. Nevada is one of five states to have no state funding for breast and cervical cancer screening. Numerous organizations including the American Cancer Society recommend yearly mammography for women over 40 and regular cervical cancer screening for women over 21, however many women in Nevada are foregoing these preventive care measures due to lack of access or expense.
- Pain Policy: Red. The report notes that states earning a red grade in this area, of which Nevada is one of six, must adopt both additional positive policies and repeal restrictive or ambiguous policies. States receiving a green rating in this area have policies in place that promote pain control for patients and responsible pain medicine prescription practices to relieve suffering and improve quality of patient care.
Read and download the full report: http://www.acscan.org/content/how-do-you-measure-up/
Collaborating with partners throughout the state, Nevada Cancer Coalition is working to fill in some of the gaps indicated in the ACS-CAN report. The organization advocated for the passage of SB267, Nevada’s tanning bill, and supports the American Lung Association’s efforts to create smoke-free cities in both Boulder City and Mesquite. Additional initiatives include programs to increase breast and cervical cancer screenings as well as colorectal cancer screenings, and a rural high schools speaking tour with anti-tobacco advocate and oral cancer survivor Gruen VonBehrens.