New Jersey gets mixed reviews in the most recent edition of “How Do You Measure Up: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality published annually by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
The Garden State scores a green (following best practices) in four of nine categories: cigarette tax rates, smoke-free laws, increased access to Medicaid, and funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection programs. It earns a yellow (“moderate movement toward benchmark”) in one category: access to palliative care. It’s in the red for three: Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation services, restrictions on use of indoor tanning devices, and pain policy. And it’s in the black for one: funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, because New Jersey has allocated less than 1 percent of CDC recommendations.
“This 15th edition of the report shows just how far we’ve come in the last decade and a half passing policies proven to reduce suffering and death from cancer. But now is certainly not the time to rest on our laurels,” said Brian Shott, ACS CAN New Jersey government relations director.
“This year alone in New Jersey almost 52,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer,” he continued. “We owe it to them and everyone at risk of developing the disease, to do what we know works to prevent cancer and improve access to screenings and treatment.”