Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania is falling short when it comes to clean indoor air, according to a state-by-state report to be released on Thurs., Aug 1 by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.

The annual report, How Do You Measure Up? A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality, now in its 17th year, illustrates where states stand on issues that play a critical role in reducing cancer incidence and death. The report measures eight specific policy actions that state legislatures can take to fight cancer – saving lives and money in their state, focusing on issues relating to tobacco control policies, cancer prevention and improving access to care.

Listen to the full interview with Emma Watson from the Cancer Action Network.

To view the complete report and details on Pennsylvania grades, visit FightCancer.org’s How Do You Measure Up? annual report.

Overall, Pennsylvania is falling short, meeting ACS CAN’s benchmarks in two of the eight issues. Specifically alarming is the state’s grade on clean indoor air, especially considering 28% of cancer deaths in Pennsylvania are attributable to tobacco and this deadly product costs our state more than $6 billion in health care costs each year. Employees in Pennsylvania are still being forced to choose between their health and their paycheck at workplaces that expose them to dangerous tobacco smoke.

Nationwide, more than half of states are making progress on policies in the fight against cancer, according to the report. How Do You Measure Up? found that 29 states and the District of Columbia are making progress in enacting and strengthening policies that fight cancer, while 18 states are falling short. Only three states are doing well, meeting six or more of the eight benchmarks measured. To help guide state policymakers, the report provides grades of red, yellow and green based on a current snapshot of state laws.

New this year, the report will also include a special section on Tobacco 21 laws. E-cigarettes have driven a dramatic 36% rise in youth tobacco product use over the last year—and in statehouses across the country, policymakers have prioritized efforts to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our kids, introducing 88 bills that raised the age of sale for tobacco products. But state lawmakers’ good-faith efforts have been co-opted by the tobacco industry, who want to use these laws to advance policies that will interfere with effective tobacco control and protect their profits. The special section draws attention to Big Tobacco’s dangerous agenda—including preempting local governments’ ability to pass strong tobacco control laws—and outlines the principles that make tobacco 21 policies effective.

It is estimated that more than 1.7 million people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and more than 600,000 people will die from the disease this year alone. With the knowledge we have today, we could prevent roughly half of cancer deaths in the United States. Research shows that achieving that goal requires stronger tobacco control laws, better access to cancer screening and treatments and policies that support proper nutrition and physical activity.

Emma Watson, Pennsylvania Government Relations Director, ACS CAN, discusses in the audio above:

· Pennsylvania How Do You Measure Up? results.

· How Pennsylvania legislative activity affects cancer prevention outcomes.

· How clean indoor air protects employees in Pennsylvania.

· The continued efforts of ACS CAN and cancer volunteers in the state to support laws and policies that help people fight cancer.

To view the complete report and details on Pennsylvania grades, visit www.fightcancer.org

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.