More than a half-million people will die of cancer in the U.S. this year, including 16,000 in the Garden State.


But a new report by the American Cancer Society finds we are making progress.

"This year's How Do You Measure Up report found New Jersey and 11 other states, plus the District of Columbia, are making progress in enacting and strengthening policies that fight cancer," says the State Advocacy Director of the American Cancer Society, Ethan Hasbrouck.

He points out New Jersey "is a national leader when it comes to cancer screening, however, the state also ranks dead last when it comes to tobacco prevention and cessation program funding."

Hasbrouck adds the Garden State also gets high marks for its strong smoke-free laws and tobacco tax rates, and Medicaid expansion has also been a plus.

"What is alarming," he says, "is that the state spends no state dollars for tobacco control and prevention. We could prevent half of all cancer deaths in the United States if everyone in America stopped using tobacco products, got cancer screenings ate well and exercised."