How a tobacco tax in Arkansas improves breast cancer screening

In Arkansas, money from a tobacco tax is allocated to breast cancer research, but how are those funds spent? KTHB in Little Rock received a viewer question about this topic, so the news station worked to find the answer.

According to the report, the funding—and funding generated from the state’s Breast Cancer Act—is managed by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, MPH, a representative from ADH, told KTHB that nearly 400 women in Arkansas die from breast cancer each year, so a lot of the funding goes toward increasing awareness.

“The funds which come through the department of health has been used for screening, diagnostic and treatment services especially for women who are uninsured or under insured,” Balamurugan said, as quoted in the report.  

Balamurugan also explained that 26 counties in the state do not have mammography facilities, so UAMS and ADH work together to provide screening via a mobile mammography unit.

To read the full story, and see video about this topic, click the link below.