Men Go Red For Women Event to Support Women’s Heart Health

The Dutchess-Ulster American Heart Association (AHA) will hold their “Men Go Red For Women” event at the Cornell Boathouse at Marist College, 5:30 – 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 6th. Tickets are free and available by calling Danielle Schuka, Go Red For Women Director, at 845-867-5379. Men and women are invited to attend.craig irwin 2

Men Go Red For Women is a dynamic, committed group of men who are raising awareness, and funds, to fight heart disease, the number one killer of women and men. They’re standing behind the women they care about —wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends —while influencing and inspiring communities to support the life-saving work of the Go Red For Women movement.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men. Men Go Red was created to show women that we support awareness and research programs to reduce their risk of heart disease,” said Craig Irwin (at left), co-host of this year’s Men Go Red event.

“I was surprised to learn that only one in five American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. Go Red seeks to change that. And the funds we help raise through Men Go Red will ensure awareness and research programs continue to save more lives in the future,” said co-chair Joshua Mackey (below).

Craig Irwin is a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Poughkeepsie. He is active in the community and currently serves on the board of Foundation for Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Abilities First and CAPE Dutchess County. He also previously served on the board of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and Rebuilding Together Dutchess County. Irwin lives in Poughkeepsie with his wife Amy and their daughter Bess.

Joshua Mackey is an attorney with Mackey Butts & Wise LLP a law firm with offices located in Poughkeepsie and Millbrook. His practice includes commercial litigation, real estate, municipal, corporate, liquor licensing, insurance, land use, planning and zoning.  Joshua is a trial lawyer, having argued before juries in both New York City and Dutchess County. Joshua served as a Chair of both the Town of Washington Planning Board and Town of Washington Comprehensive Plan Committee. He was also a member of the Town of Washington Wetlands Ordinance Committee where he helped draft a wetlands law. In 2009, he was a recipient of the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce “Forty Under 40” award.joshua mackey

Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. The AHA states that women are less likely to call 9-1-1 for themselves when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack than they are for someone else. Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. To learn more, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

This Men Go Red event will feature networking, light fare, beer and wine. The Men Go Red group will have exclusive events throughout the year and members will receive tickets to the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon set for November 9, 2017 at the Grandview.

For information or tickets, please contact Danielle Schuka, Go Red Corporate Events Director at 845-867-5379 or by email at Danielle.schuka@heart.org. Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS, and locally by The Heart Center, Vassar Brothers Hospital, Northern Dutchess Hospital, Central Hudson, Gold’s Gym, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, The Grandview and Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union.

 

By |May 17th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Simple, Free test could help prevent leading cause of death

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) wants people to check their blood pressure by May 17, World Hypertension Day, as part of their #CheckIt high blood pressure awareness campaign. May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month and American Stroke Month, and the AHAhttps---sprcdn-assets.sprinklr.com-261-CheckIt-blue_insta-e80f306b-a6bc-4009-9e8b-a26768067f55-1802371459-2017-05-02 20-29-12/ASA is joining other health organizations to reach 25 million blood pressure checks globally (5 million in the U.S.). Participants are encouraged to log their blood pressure check and learn about high blood pressure online.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is usually preventable with simple steps, yet it kills more people worldwide than any other condition. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, which is a reading of 140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher. Uncontrolled, it can cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss and dementia. But controlling high blood pressure could reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by 30 percent in men and 38 percent in women, according to the AHA. Taking control starts with a simple action — getting your blood pressure checked.

“Few severe health conditions are ignored as much as high blood pressure. It’s like having too much pressure in a pipe. It damages the pipe, but you often don’t see a problem until the pipe bursts or becomes clogged,” said Willie Lawrence, M.D., an interventional cardiologist for Midwest Heart & Vascular Specialists in Kansas City and an American Heart Association volunteer. “It is a symptomless disease, so the best way to combat it is to check it regularly to know if you need to start or change treatment.”

Community groups, clinics, and workplaces can hold blood pressure checks for large groups through programs like the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. Participants in this free, science-based program have seen an average drop in systolic blood pressure of 7 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and one-third improved their level of blood pressure control.

Such programs can be particularly important for those known to face higher risks. Nearly half of African-Americans have high blood pressure, dramatically increasing their chance of stroke. And blacks, along with Hispanic-Americans, are less likely to have their blood pressure under control, according to recent research.

Healthcare providers may prescribe medication in addition to lifestyle changes — like limiting salt and alcohol, getting regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.“It may take a few tries to find the right medicine, or combination of medicines, to fit your needs,” Lawrence said. “It’s important that you keep an open dialogue with your provider, and use tools like connected devices, mobile apps or web-based tracking programs to help gather the data you need about your condition and share it with your doctor.”

For more information visit heart.org/hbp. Free resources for American Stroke Month are available online at http://strokeassociation.org/strokemonth.

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By |May 2nd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dutchess-Ulster Heart Walk Honorees – Madison and Matthew

Thanks to our Junior Heart Walk Honorees this year, Madison Dallies and Matthew Burchell! Here are their stories.Matthew and Madison

 

Madison Dallies

At a routine ultrasound showed there was a possible hole in Madison’s heart, in between her ventricles.  A future level 2 ultrasound confirmed that she definitely had a hole in between the ventricles, but they believe there wasn’t any constriction at that time in her Pulmonary Artery.  A month later, the doctor said that Madison’s congenital heart defect was worse than we thought and she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot—a rare condition of four heart birth defects at once.

Doctors said the constriction in her Pulmonary Artery was very severe and that she would need surgery to place a shunt within 24 hours of her birth.

On Monday April 14th at 3:04 PM, Madison was born and the surgery for her shunt placement would occur the very next morning at 7:30 AM. IMG_6897

Her mother said, “That night, I went and met my little girl for the first time.  She is a fighter and the strongest person that I know.  She was born with virtually no pulmonary artery opening, a large hole in between her ventricles, and an overriding aortic artery, which are 3 of the 4 conditions of Tetralogy of Fallot.  The 4th condition is the thickening of the right ventricle wall, which has been occurring over time since she was born.”

Madison’s first surgery lasted almost 5 hours. They successfully placed a shunt to redirect the blood to the branches of her pulmonary artery from her aortic artery.

“Our first visit with her post-surgery was the scariest sight of my life.  To see my baby with rows of machines behind a large hospital bed and know that all of those machines had medicine in them that was being pumped into my little girl, was terrifying.  Six days after her birth, we got to hold our little girl for the first time.  Six days after that, we took our precious miracle home,” said her mother.

They met with cardiologists monthly until her second surgery when she was eight months old. Madison’s six-hour surgery was successful and after 11 days in the hospital she finally went home.

They met with her surgeon every 6 months, then one-year visits because her constriction sounded and looked much better.  This year, at her 8-year visit, her doctor has requested a Pulmonary Nuclear Lung Perfusion Scan performed to measure the output between the two branches of her pulmonary artery. They are working with her cardiologists now to tackle the next steps.

“Congenital heart defects can be a lifelong battle. I am very proud today to be able to say that I am the Mother of a Heart Warrior.  She is my hero and I cannot imagine my world without her in it.  Thank you to all of the work that the American Heart Association has done over the years to provide funding for research so that my little girl could still be here today,” said Madison’s mother.
Matthew Burchell 

At four months old, Matthew’s pediatrician believed he heard an “innocent heart murmur.”

An “innocent” murmur is considered harmless and would not require monitoring or intervention.  The doctor was not overly concerned and indicated he would refer us to a pediatric cardiologist if he still heard the murmur at six months.  I pushed for an immediate referral which he was more than happy to give.

On August 22, 2008, to his parents’ surprise, Matthew was diagnosed with two congenital heart defects: a bicuspid aortic valve with mild stIMG_8075enosis and a mildly dilated ascending aorta.

The aortic valve is the valve between the heart and the aorta which prevents the blood from flowing back into the heart. The aorta is the main artery which moves oxygen enriched blood throughout the body. A normal valve has three leaflets. A bicuspid valve only has two. A bicuspid valve can lead to stenosis (blockage) and regurgitation (back flow).  His valve is also susceptible to bacterial infection.

The dilation of the ascending aorta has since progressed and is now considered a stable, thoracic aortic aneurysm.

An aneurysm is when the diameter of a portion of the artery is significantly larger than normal. An untreated aneurysm can lead to dissection or rupture, resulting in a catastrophic incident.

Matthew must be monitored annually to assess both the valve and aneurysm. Unfortunately, there is no medication that can fix either defect.

Matthew is now eight years old. He has not required surgical intervention to date and is not restricted from any day to day activities. He has, however been discouraged from participating in competitive activities such as football, weightlifting, hockey or wrestling which could cause trauma or straining. Physical restrictions may result as he ages and the dilation increases.

Statistically, one in 100 babies is born with a congenital heart defect. In Matthew’s case, boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a bicuspid valve than girls.

Approximately 80% of those with a bicuspid valve, also suffer from dilation of the aorta or an aneurysm.

Matthew is on a life-long journey. There is no quick fix. Diligent monitoring of his condition is a must and progression is inevitable.

In the future, any surgical intervention that Matthew will undergo will come with its own risks and maintenance.

That is why his parents support the American Heart Association. Because every day there is more research and studies being conducted that will one day help those like Matthew born with Congenital Heart Defects live their best lives possible.

 www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org 

American Heart Association Praises Sullivan County’s Passage Of Tobacco 21 Law

The American Heart Association (AHA) said that by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, the Sullivan County Legislature has acted to save lives and improve the health of county residents. The law was signed Thursday. “Passage of this bill will help fight chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and all forms of cancer. Sullivan is now one of nine counties/localities in New York—and the 227th locality nationally—who have taken this step to save lives,” said Kristin Salvi, AHA Government Relations Director.Copy of 18 (1)

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and tonight’s vote shows that the Sullivan County Legislature is committed to the health of its residents,” said Salvi, “The American Heart Association thanks Sullivan County leaders for passing this important measure, and looks forward to improved health for Sullivan County residents.”

While county by county measures will have an impact, crossing county borders to purchase products remains an issue. The AHA is seeking a statewide change in the purchasing age of tobacco products. The Senate Health Committee announced they will consider the Tobacco 21 state bill on Tuesday.

According to the NYS Department of Health, 10,600 youth under 18 become new daily smokers each year, and 73,000 New York State high school students currently smoke. A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies said that if a youth reaches the age of 21 without smoking, the chance of them ever doing so plummets to 2 percent.

The AHA states that this strategy is already working. In 2005, Needham, MA voted to raise and enforce the minimum tobacco sales age of 21. In 2006, before full enforcement, the town had a youth smoking rate of 13% compared with 15% in the surrounding communities. By 2010, the youth smoking rate in Needham was down to 6.7% while the surrounding communities’ rate only decreased to 12.4%. The percent decline in youth smoking in Needham was nearly triple that of its neighbors.

For more information about the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure grassroots action network, visit www.yourethecure.org. To find free resources to quit smoking, visit www.heart.org/quitsmoking or the NYS Smoker’s Quitline at https://www.nysmokefree.com/ or 1-866-NY-QUITS.

#Tobacco21

Move More on National Walking Day

Move more to get Healthy For Good™!

On Wednesday, April 5th, thousands of Americans will take a step towards being Healthy For Good, and walk to celebrate the American Heart Association’s (AHA) National Walking Day, sponsored locally by Nice Pak/PDI in Orangeburg.walking day

The American Heart Association will kick off the month-long campaign on National Walking Day, April 5, to encourage people to move more by increasing their physical activity. The campaign is broken down into weekly themes. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Walking is one of the safest, least expensive, and most sustainable forms of exercise. Weeks two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor activities the whole family can do together, and week four focuses on mindful movement and reducing stress by doing activities such as yoga, Pilates and tai chi.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity or a combination of both each week. That’s about 30 minutes most days of the week. Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Walking Day is part of the AHA’s “Healthy For Good” movement, designed to inspire all Americans to live healthier by making small changes today that can create a difference in your health for decades to come. Healthy For Good is sponsored locally by Orange Regional Medical Center.merritt7

Studies have suggested that moderate physical activity has many proven benefits for overall health, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL, or “good”, cholesterol and controlling weight. Exercise can also improve circulation, manage stress, counter anxiety and depression, improve muscle strength and help control diabetes. All these changes help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

Nice Pak/PDI, Cardinal Health, Mount Saint Mary College, and Orange Regional Medical Center are just a few of the organizations sponsoring National Walking Day events at their workplaces as part of worksite wellness programs. To help create a culture of health at work, the American Heart Association offers a free Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit for organizations at http://bit.ly/AHAToolkit.nicepak1

For more information about National Walking Day, and to download a free toolkit, visit www.heart.org/movemore.  Residents are invited to join one of the many regional Heart Walks to keep moving, including the TriCounty Heart Walk, set for Sunday, May 7th at Harriman State Park. Register online at www.tricountyheartwalk.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway, and locally by Healthy For Good Sponsor, Orange Regional Medical Center. Local sponsors include HOLT Construction, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Orange Bank & Trust, NicePak – PDI, Active International, Cardinal Health, Crystal Run Healthcare, M &T Bank, Highland Medical and Nyack Hospital. Media sponsors include: AJ Ross Media, Rock City Media, Hudson Valley Magazine and Mix 97.7.

It’s NYS Budget Time! Take Action to Help Keep Health Program Funding!

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY, MARCH 30!

The state Legislature is talking about cutting state funding for public health programs by 20% as part of a state budget deal. We can’t jeopardize important hypertension, obesity prevention and other chronic and infectious disease prevention efforts for underserved New Yorkers.

Please call the leaders of the Legislature today. Here are their numbers and suggested script.batphone

It literally only takes a minute or two.  You will likely just be asked for your name and leave a message. Your voice can save lives!!!

Assembly Speaker Heastie: 518-455-3791

Senate Majority Leader Flanagan: 518-455-2071

My name is [_____], from [CITY]. I am calling to strongly oppose any cuts to the state health department and public health funding. Public health programs save lives. You cannot negotiate away critical prevention programs for those who need them most. Thank you.

Please consider joining our online grassroots advocacy network to stay informed about issues like this. www.YoureTheCure.org 

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By |March 30th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

New York State Budget Can Target Issues to Help Improve Health

 

As the April 1 deadline looms for this year’s state budget, the American Heart Association calls on the state Legislature to keep the health of New Yorkers in the forefront.capital

Two-thirds of New Yorkers are overweight or obese, costing the state $11.8 billion in medical costs. Two initiatives that the American Heart Association has advocated to have in the budget would help New Yorkers combat obesity: The Empire State Trail and funding the Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Fund.

The $200 million that Gov. Cuomo has proposed to create the nation’s largest multi-use trail, would provide 750 miles of safe and attractive trail where people could walk, bike, push a baby stroller, rollerblade – or engage in any kind of activity they like. Groups like Parks and Trails New York, the Open Space Institute, Scenic Hudson, and the retailer REI, have also supported the trail.

The Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Program would provide funding to establish markets in areas where people have limited access to healthy food. It’s estimated that 1.7 million New Yorkers lack access to stores with healthy food options. Low-income neighborhoods have 50 percent fewer supermarkets than healthy neighborhoods.

“Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans,” said Bob Elling, paramedic and chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Investing in the Empire State Trail and the Healthy Food Healthy, Communities Fund could save New York real money in health-related expenses, while helping all New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

In addition, the AHA would like to see Brianna’s Law included in the budget, providing for CPR training every two years for all police officers.

The American Heart Association urges all New Yorkers to contact their elected officials to ask for this funding through the You’re the Cure grassroots advocacy network. www.yourethecure.org ytc-life-is-why-dual-logo

By |March 28th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Nominations Open for Putnam Lifestyle Change Award

Do you know someone whose health has greatly improved as a result of making long-term healthy lifestyle changes? Have you lost a lot of weight in the past year, started living healthier or know someone who has? The American Heart Association invites you to nominate yourself or a healthy friend for the LCA Marshall SterlingLifestyle Change Award.

The Putnam County Region of the American Heart Association is accepting nominations for their Lifestyle Change Award, sponsored locally by Marshall & Sterling. The award honors individuals who have made positive changes to improve their quality of life and overall health.

Ideal candidates are people who have taken control of their health in areas of diet, exercise or tobacco cessation and seen positive results in weight, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar. Winners will be recognized at the association’s Heart Walk on April 23rd at Brewster High School.

To nomhttp---prod.cdata.app.sprinklr.com-DAM-261-shutterstock_103383071-106bccf0-edc2-4842-94cd-0716b28f3e03-1247884109-2016-04-26 14-39-20inate an individual for a Lifestyle Change Award download by downloading the form at http://bit.ly/PutnamLCA17 or by contacting Rosanne Goodman at Rosanne.goodman@heart.org. Application deadline is March 30th.

Heart Walk registration is open online at www.putnamheartwalk.org. Corporate, community and family teams are welcome to register to walk for their own heart health and the funds raised will help other hearts in our community.

The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway and locally by Signature Sponsor, Putnam Hospital Center, and local sponsors NYU Langone – Hudson Valley Cardiology, PracticeMax, and media sponsors Hudson Valley Magazine, Examiner Media, Mahopac News, and WHUD.

By |February 24th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Little Red Hats to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects

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Baby Eliana at Good Sam Hospital

The American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is offering the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program for the second year in a row locally. Thousands of little red hats are being delivered to 26 regional hospitals in New York and Connecticut during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, or CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at participating hospitals during February will receive a little red hat, and parents will receive healthy lifestyle educational information.

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Danbury Hospital

The AHA received donations from more than 100 volunteer knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to help raise awareness for CHD during Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14. American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

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Phelps Hospital

The AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Approximately 2,500 hats will be distributed. Local yarn shops donated red yarn and Fabricare Cleaners in Norwalk and Red Cap Cleaners in Poughkeepsie donated their services to wash and sanitize the hats.

“We hear these heart-warming stories shared by some of the knitters who were donating hats in memory of a child lost to CHD, or happier, one who lived. The American Heart Association funds pediatric research and we offer healthy lifestyle programs for children in schools throughout the county,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and support to help raise awareness for children’s heart health.”

The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in CT and NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR.

More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program is online at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts or by contacting the AHA at 845-867-5374. Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s new Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/

Thanks to all our knitting & crocheting volunteers and to all our participating hospitals who give all their hearts to care for newborns! 

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Good Sam Hospital

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White Plains Hospital

NYS Public Health Groups Call on Governor and Legislature to Raise Tobacco Age of Sale to 21

 

In response to the American Lung Association’s recent “State of Tobacco Control” Report 2017, the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) today gathered with state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), at the State Capitol to call on the state to immediately pass “Tobacco 21” legislation, raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21.  Both Savino and Rosenthal have introduced legislation to the Senate (S3978) and Assembly (A273).Copy of 18 (1)

“The key to reducing the number of citizens who smoke is to prevent initiation of tobacco use in the first place,” said Senator Diane Savino.  “Delaying children and young adults access to tobacco products will reduce the likelihood that they ever start smoking.  Raising the smoking age to twenty-one will largely remove cigarettes from high schools and will help eliminate a popular source of tobacco for children and young adults.  This legislation will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking, and we can ultimately save thousands of lives.”

“Every year tobacco ensnares tens of thousands of young New Yorkers in its death grip,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The statistics that surround youth tobacco use though, are not our fate. I am proud to have reintroduced legislation to increase the purchasing age for tobacco products across New York State from 18 to 21. With incredible partners like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, we have a real chance to protect generations to come.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., and increasing the sales age for tobacco products could have a big impact on youth tobacco use in New York State. According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, raising the tobacco age to 21 nationwide would prevent 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer, the nation’s leading cancer killer.

“More than 1 in 4 high school students in the state of New York currently use tobacco products,” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report card gave New York State a “D” due to its failure to pass a statewide Tobacco 21 law.  We know that increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 will not only give New York an A grade in this category, but more importantly it will significantly reduce youth tobacco use, long term addiction, and save thousands of lives.”

Every day, nationally, about 2,500 youth under 18 try their first cigarette and 400 kids become regular daily smokers. Two-thirds of 10th grade students and nearly half of 8th grade students say it is easy to get cigarettes. According to a National Academy of Medicine report, smokers age 18-19 years old are a major supplier for younger kids who rely on friends, classmates and peers to buy tobacco products. A comprehensive statewide law raising the age of sale would help reduce the number of high school students who have easy access to tobacco products because they would be less likely to have legal buyers ages 21 and older in their social networks.

Julie Hart, director of New York government relations of ACS CAN said, “Given that about 95 percent of smokers started before the age of 21, it is imperative to take action to help our young New Yorkers. Tobacco 21 is a promising strategy and could stop kids before they begin a deadly tobacco addiction, thereby saving lives and health care costs.”

“Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of all Americans,” said Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, cardiologist and member of the Founders Affiliate Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. “If a person doesn’t start smoking before they are 21, the chance that they will ever start decreases dramatically. This is a deadly habit that costs New Yorkers $16 billion per year. I urge the state Legislature to protect our youth by passing Tobacco 21 across the state. It is up to us to save young lives.”

“Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will prevent young people from using tobacco, save lives and help make the next generation tobacco-free,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Northeast Regional Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “This proposal will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all tobacco use begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. It will also help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.”

“Every day as you leave Burnt Hills High School, will see a group of kids across the road in the church parking lot smoking,” said Conner McClernan, senior at Burnt Hills High School and member of Reality Check, a youth-led movement that helps fight back against tobacco.  “We’re no longer talking about just numbers on a piece of paper or spreadsheet. It is the kids you’ve had pictures of on your mantles since the day they were born.”

While several localities in New York acted to pass local legislation raising the age of sale to 21 in 2016, New York State earned a nearly failing grade of “D” in the Tobacco 21 category of the report for failing to pass comprehensive statewide legislation to keep tobacco out of the hands of young adults. This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report revealed that 28.8% of high school students in the state use at least one tobacco product.  The report also concluded that over $10 billion was spent on health care costs due to smoking in New York and 28,170 New Yorkers lost their lives to tobacco.

By |January 31st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments