State Falls Short for Prevention | Big Horn Basin Media

Wyoming Falls Short in Cancer Prevention

Written by on August 10, 2018

When it comes to cancer prevention, Wyoming as a state is falling short.
That’s according to a new report that was released yesterday by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The annual “How Do You Measure Up” report finds that Wyoming meets national benchmarks in just two of nine public policy areas.
Dawn Scott, the ACS CAN Wyoming Grassroots Manager, says that Wyoming’s poor standings come primarily through residents’ continued use of tobacco. Wyoming earned a “red” ranking in several tobacco control categories, including its tobacco tax. Scott says that by significantly increasing taxes on all tobacco products, Wyoming lawmakers can save lives, reduce health care costs and generate much-needed revenue.

Scott says that tobacco use is the state’s number one cause of preventable death, and both adults and teenagers in Wyoming use tobacco products at much higher rates than the national average. She says that implementing a higher tax on tobacco products is a way to deter young people from beginning a habit that is ultimately harmful.
Scott, who is a cancer survivor herself, says that there are ways you can help mitigate your own risks, by making healthy food choices, exercising more, and not utilizing tobacco products. She adds that it’s important for people to get their recommended cancer screenings.
How Do You Measure Up? rates states in nine specific areas of public policy that can fight cancer, including increased access to care through Medicaid, funding for cancer screening programs, smoke-free laws, cigarette tax levels, funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, cessation coverage under Medicaid and restricting indoor tanning devices for minors. The report also looks at whether a state provides a balanced approach to pain medication and if it has passed policies proven to increase patient quality of life.

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