Report: New Jersey, Pennsylvania Aren’t Doing Enough to Prevent Cancer

New Jersey doesn't spend a cent on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, says the American Cancer Society.

Photo: iStock/Robert Herhold

Photo: iStock/Robert Herhold

A new study from the American Cancer Society found that New Jersey is the only state in the country that spends zero dollars on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

The report, which was released today, focuses on cancer prevention, tobacco control, access to healthcare and patient quality of life. It suggests that both New Jersey and Pennsylvania aren’t putting enough resources toward combatting cancer.

Pennsylvania spends only about 10 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control recommends for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, according to the study. The Keystone State meets just four of the 10 benchmarks put forth by the ACS’s Cancer Action Network. New Jersey meets five.

Here’s where Pennsylvania has made progress, according to the study: The state passed a $1 per pack cigarette tax increase in July. The ACS estimates that the tax will save 32,200 lives in the state and prevent more than 48,100 kids from becoming addicted smokers as adults. The organization also praised the state’s first-ever tax on smokeless tobacco products.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are providing adequate tobacco excise taxes, funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings, healthcare access through Medicaid and oral chemotherapy, according to the ACS. But the report found that both states need to make progress on cancer pain control, indoor tanning restrictions and tobacco-quitting services.

You can view data for each state as well as the full report, titled “How Does Your State Measure Up?,” on the Cancer Action Network website.

The ACS estimates that almost 1.7 million U.S. citizens will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and nearly 600,000 will die because of it. The report largely found that across the nation, most states are making progress toward preventing cancer.

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