American Cancer Society: Indiana's Cancer Policies Need Work

Aug 4, 2017

The latest assessment from the American Cancer Society details where Indiana lags and what progress it’s made in cancer fighting policies. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network annual progress report evaluates state legislative efforts.

American Cancer Society’s Bryan Hannon says failure to pass a cigarette tax increase last session set Indiana back in reducing smoking rates. But he says a modest funding increase for tobacco control programs was a step in the right direction.

“We’ve inched the ball forward and we hope that in the near future, hopefully in 2018, we can cross the finish line,” says Hannon.

He says areas where the state does well include Medicaid expansion and its coverage of tobacco cessation.

“The Medicaid program offers access to all varieties of counseling, over the telephone or in person counseling and to all seven FDA approved cessation medications,” Hannon says.

Indiana gets low marks for breast and cervical cancer early detection policies as well as indoor tanning restrictions.

“The World Health Organization has deemed these devices as carcinogenic to humans which is the same risk level as cigarettes,” says Hannon.