HELENA — The American Cancer Society Action Network is drawing attention to cancer across Montana by highlighting how efficiently it feels lawmakers are tackling issues linked to the disease.
According to the organization, this year alone, 5,920 people were diagnosed with cancer in Montana, and more than a third will die from the disease.
American Cancer Society is pushing their “ How Do You Measure Up ” campaign, a progress report on state legislative activity to reduce cancer in Montanans . It is a color-coded system that indicates the state ranks in laws that specifically address certain types of cancers.
An example of this is Montana gets high marks for its smoke-free laws and increased access to Medicaid. But the organization says the state could do better when it comes to indoor tanning and funding tobacco prevention efforts -- especially within the youth population and the up rise of e-cigarettes and vape users.
“It's really important to Montanans that we try and give them every possible way to prevent cancer -- it's such a deadly disease and we know that many Montanans die every year or are diagnosed with cancer," Keri Yoder, State Lead Ambassador for American Cancer Society said. "So, it’s just really important that we know what policies are being set forth by the state.”
Yoder says the epidemic of youth abusing e-cigarettes and vapes are due to the marketing strategies with emphasis on “fun” flavors to attract young adults.