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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SBM Medicine urges restoration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding for firearms and gun violence prevention research. Gun violence in the United States is an important and costly public health issue in need of research attention.