American Heart Association Supports Tobacco-21 Bill in Orange County NY

Studies show the higher age will reduce the number of first-time, young smokers

This week, the Orange County Health & Mental Health Committee unanimously passed the “T21” bill proposed by Orange County Legislator James DiSalvo, which would raise the age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to 21. The Rules Committee also passed the bill which means the bill will go to the full Legislature for a vote on December 1st. The American Heart Association strongly supports this proposal.18-2

 The law would prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to minors and young adults under the age of 21.

“It’s imperative that we raise the age to purchase tobacco, tobacco and nicotine products to 21,” said Kristin Salvi, New York State government relations director for the American Heart Association.

“Studies have shown that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will significantly reduce the number of teens and young adults who start smoking,” Salvi said. “It will also reduce smoking-caused deaths.”

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States. More than half a million people in New York have a disease caused by smoking, resulting in about $8.17 billion in health care expenditures annually. An estimated 24,500 New Yorkers die of smoking-related deaths each year,” said Jonathan Schiller, AHA Heart Walk Chair, and Chief Operating Office at Orange Regional Medical Center.

“New York continuously leads the nation in pursuit of quality tobacco control, like with our high tobacco tax and clean indoor air policies,” Salvi said. “One hundred localities nationwide have raised the age for tobacco sales to 21. Orange County’s smoking rate is still 15%, and the Orange County Legislature has an opportunity to further ensure the good health of its residents by making this deadly habit unavailable to our youth.”

The American Heart Association invites members of the community support voice support of this legislation to create a healthier community in Orange County by calling their legislators before December 1st. Join www.yourethecure.org to sign up for grassroots action alerts.

By |November 17th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Legislation Introduced to Ban Smoking in Hotel Rooms

American Lung Association, POW’R Against Tobacco, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association Announce Support for the Bill

American Heart Association volunteer Jeff Reilly was pleased to join with Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski yesterday to announce new legislation that would add hotel and motel rooms to the list of places where smoking is restricted under the Clean Indoor Air Act (A.8371). Currently, the Clean Indoor Air Act exempts hotels and motel guest rooms from the list of prohibited places.

Jeff Reilly, AHA volunteer and COO Bon Secours Charity Health System, 3rd from right

Jeff Reilly, AHA volunteer and COO Bon Secours Charity Health System, 3rd from right

Reilly, AHA volunteer Heart Walk Chair and COO of Bon Secours Charity Health System expressed support for the bill saying, “All of the hospitals in our system have smoke-free campuses. Bon Secours and the American Heart Association support this proposal and urge all of our state leaders to support it as well.”

“Smoke cannot be confined to just one room. Smoke travels through walls and ventilation systems into other guests’ rooms causing an unpleasant environment. This issue is a matter of public health and I believe it will benefit the accommodation industry by removing the burden of making smoking rooms available that are difficult to clean and which negatively impact other guests,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski.

Representatives from POW’R Against Tobacco, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and Bon Secours Charity Health System stood with Zebrowski in support of the bill, which takes a major step in protecting consumers from secondhand smoke.

“We know that smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease,” stated Robin Vitale, Senior Director of Government Relations for the American Heart Association in New York. “As a result, the American Heart Association applauds this proposed ban on smoking in hotel and motel rooms. In this case, it guarantees that all overnight guests can rely on an environment that doesn’t promote disease. ”

Secondhand tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and is responsible for a myriad of respiratory illnesses and cancer.

“This initiative will not only benefit guests, but also the hotel employees who are exposed to smoke. This will ensure they have a smoke-free workplace and are afforded the protections that employees in other industries have,” said Zebrowski, calling on New York to set an example for the hotel industry.

New York would join five other states that have enacted similar bans on smoking in hotel rooms. In addition, several hotel chains have voluntarily imposed smoking bans in their hotels.

Join our nationwide movement to support healthier communities and healthier lives. Sign up at www.yourethecure.org

By |September 10th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments