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NJ Gets Mixed Reviews On Policies To Fight Cancer

Tanning Bed
Flickr User Travel Salem

New Jersey receives a mixed review for its legislative work to combat cancer, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network .

How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality evaluates each state’s activity on seven issues crucial to winning the fight against cancer.

Now in its 10th year, How Do You Measure Up? grades seven key state policy areas nationwide: breast and cervical cancer early detection program funding; colorectal screening coverage laws; smoke-free laws; tobacco prevention program funding; tobacco taxes; state tanning bed bans for minors; and access to palliative care.

According to the report, New Jersey has adopted well-balanced policies and good practices when it comes to breast and cervical cancer early detection program funding, colorectal screening coverage laws, smoke-free laws and tobacco taxes.

The state is making moderate improvement in accesss to palliative care.

And there are two areas in that fall into the red category, tobacco prevention funding and state tanning bed bans for minors, where the state is falling short.

“New Jersey’s biggest shortcoming is its failure to adequately fund anti-tobacco efforts,” said Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ.  “The state’s tobacco control program is just a shadow of what it used to be and the effects will be felt in higher smoking rates and more suffering from tobacco-related illnesses.  More funds must be added to this program.”

Also, the American Cancer Society continues to advocate for a ban on indoor tanning for minors under the age of 18 to protect kids from a known carcinogen.  According to the World Health Organization, those who use indoor tanning before the age of 30 increase their risk of melanoma by 30 percent.

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