The study from the American Cancer Society used ten criteria, things like the size of cigarette taxes, tobacco cessation program funding and the amount of phys ed required in schools.
Nebraska only got a passing grade in one of the ten categories.
David Holmquist, with Nebraska’s office of the Cancer Action Network, is critical that state legislators have failed to pass age restrictions on tanning beds.
“Younger and younger people are beginning to get melanoma,” he says. “In other words, women in their 20s who tanned a lot in their teens, it seems that the skin is more susceptible to the effects of the rays, the infrared rays that tanning beds provide.”
Only five states have banned everyone under 18 from using tanning beds, while seven states have put restrictions on tanning.
Holmquist says, “Prevention is a huge issue and by not allowing any women under the age of 18 to use a tanning bed, we can prevent a lot of melanomas.”
The only area where Nebraska did well on the report was for its statewide law banning smoking in most public places.
While Nebraska had a poor showing in the report, the best-ranked states only passed six of the ten categories. Holmquist says three-quarters of all states are falling short in the cancer fight.
“If we don’t set high benchmarks and high standards, we will never win the war on cancer and that’s really what it’s all about,” Holmquist says. “Years and years ago, President Nixon declared we would wage war on cancer. We’re still fighting a battle. We haven’t begun to win the war.”
According to the Cancer Society, more than 9,000 Nebraskans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 3,000 will die from it.
See the full report at: www.acscan.org