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Health and Medicine

Ohio gets bad policy ratings from the American Cancer Society
Tobacco policy led to many of the bad scores

Andy Chow
Ohio ranked low due to its tobacco policies.
Courtesy of Julie Bocchino
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Ohio is falling behind on strong cancer-prevention policies, according to a new report from a leading cancer-fighting organization. The study especially notes shortfalls in tobacco-related issues.

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A cigarette tax increase, a tobacco prevention funding hike and more restrictions on tobacco-use, the American Cancer Society says Ohio could do better with all these. While Gov. John Kasich did call for a 60-cent increase in the cigarette tax earlier this year, that proposal has stalled.

Jeff Stephens with the American Cancer Society says there is a sense of urgency when it comes to strengthening these policies that goes beyond just improving public health.

“Right now we really want to go after this tobacco-control issue because it is such a burden on our state," Stephens says. "It’s a health metric that doesn’t make Ohio economically attractive or competitive.”

There were some bright spots in the report. Ohio earned top marks for its smoke-free laws along with its Medicaid expansion.

But overall the state scored well in just three of 12 issues. 

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