Key Policy Issues

SBM advances evidence-based health policy through the publication of policy briefs and position statements, endorsement of letters and position papers authored by like-minded organizations, and yearly visits to legislators' offices on Capitol Hill.

Our current key policy issues are:


Position Statement: Increase HPV Vaccination Uptake

SBM calls for increased human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates to prevent cancer. The vaccination is recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds. Legislators and health care providers must take action to ensure the vaccine is widely available and used. Legislators should advocate for vaccine insurance coverage and adequate provider reimbursement. Health care providers should treat HPV vaccination as a routine vaccination, and should use culturally appropriate communication strategies to educate patients and parents about the vaccine’s importance, effectiveness, and safety.

Position Statement: Ban Indoor Tanning for Minors

SBM supports a total ban on indoor tanning for minors under the age of 18. Strong evidence links indoor tanning to increased risk for melanoma with repeated exposure during childhood being associated with the greatest increase in risk. Several countries and five U.S. states have passed legislation banning indoor tanning in minors, and SBM strongly encourages the remaining U.S. states to do the same in an effort to protect children and prevent new cases of melanoma.

Position Statement: Improving Access to Psychosocial Care for Individuals with Persistent Pain

SBM supports access to psychosocial approaches to pain management for all individuals with persistent pain, in all health care settings, as part of the comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to pain care outlined in the National Pain Strategy.

Position Statement: Reduce Smoking Disparities for the LGBT Community

SBM supports policies that reduce smoking disparities for gender and sexual minorities, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Policies should make sure such individuals are included in all local, state, and national tobacco prevention and control activities including use/cessation surveillance, outreach campaigns, product regulations, clean air acts, and healthcare provider training.

Position Statement: Regulation Needed for E-Cigarettes

SBM supports stronger regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes), incorporation of electronic nicotine delivery systems into clean air policies, and special consideration of product safety standards to protect vulnerable populations.

Policy Brief: Increase Funding of Quitlines and Research to Maximize Public Health Benefits of 1-800-QUIT-NOW on Cigarette Packs

SBM and the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco welcome the historic  Food and Drug Administration rule on new warning labels for cigarettes. These enhanced health warnings with the quitline number are designed to discourage more nonsmokers from starting to smoke and to encourage more smokers to quit and increase their use of evidence-based tobacco cessation services available at no-cost from state quitlines.

Position Statement: Retain Healthy School Lunch Policies

SBM supports the retention of the school lunch standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. SBM further recommends  schools promote traditional and innovative nutrition education formats, repeatedly encourage the consumption of healthful foods, and make small environmental changes in lunchrooms to make more healthful eating accessible, attractive, and normative.

Position Statement: Preschool Policies Can Prevent Obesity for Children

SBM recommends that early care and education settings provide healthy foods in age-appropriate portions; increase physical activity during childcare hours to as close to 120 minutes per day as possible; decrease sedentary behavior to no more than 30 minutes at a time; and decrease entertainment screen time in childcare to less than 30 minutes weekly.