Make Cancer a Top Priority
Dear [Decision Maker],
Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network were in Annapolis on February 5, 2019, to ask lawmakers to make cancer a top state priority. I wasn't able to travel to Annapolis, but as your constituent, I am writing to urge you to listen to the voices of cancer patients, survivors, and advocates when making important decisions that affect us all. Please support the following 3 issues: 1. Raise the sale age for tobacco products to 21, 2. Prohibit minors under the age of 18 from using tanning beds,Senate Bill 299/ House Bill 124, and3. Protect funding for the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Programs.Even though smoking is the most preventable cause of death, roughly a third of the 10,780 cancer deaths in Maryland are caused by tobacco use. 95% of adult smokers start smoking before age 21 and 21.6% of Maryland high school students currently use some form of tobacco. Raising the minimum sale age for tobacco to 21 will help to reduce tobacco use rates among youth and prevent 92,000 youth alive in Maryland today from ultimately dying from smoking.Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. This year, in Maryland 1,750 are estimated to be diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, while 110 are estimated to die from the disease. Evidence shows that indoor tanning increases the risk of skin cancer, however, 7.2% (47,194) of students currently use indoor tanning devices in Maryland. Prohibiting minors from using tanning beds will effectively deter minors from using tanning devices and help reduce skin cancer incidence and mortality rates in our state. In 2019, an estimated 5,290 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 830 will die from the disease in Maryland. It's a known fact that detecting breast and cervical cancer at an early stage increases survival rates, however uninsured and underinsured women have lower screening rates. Protecting funding for Maryland's Breast and Cervical Cancer Programs will increase screening rates and decrease breast cancer death rates for low-income women in our state.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]