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Report: Michigan could do more to prevent cancer

Aug 6, 2015

Credit capl@washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

 A new report suggests Michigan could do more to curb cancer, including raising the tobacco tax and increasing funding to tobacco prevention programs. 

The report is from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The organization has created a report for each state, which looks at nine public policy areas. 

The report says Michigan needs more funding for smoking prevention programs, such as the smoking quit line. According to the report, Michigan spends $1.5 million on prevention programs, one of the lowest in the nation.

Andrew Schepers is the Michigan government relations for the organization. 

"We say and studies have shown you put money into prevention, you'll save money down the road," Schepers said. 

Schepers also says Michigan should increase the tobacco tax.

He says even though Michigan has a higher tobacco tax than the national average, it hasn't increased in years, and smoking products such as hookahs and snuff have grown in popularity. 

Right now, the state tobacco tax is two dollars a pack. The report says for every 10-cent price increase, smoking declines by four percent. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21.4% percent of Michigan adults were smokers. 

The report also says the state needs to tighter restrictions on  indoor tanning devices, and better access to palliative care, breast and cervical cancer. You can see Michigan's full report here