Heart Association urges Westchester County to raise age for tobacco, nicotine purchases to 21

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

This week, Westchester County will vote on raising the the age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to 21. The American Heart Association strongly supports this proposal.

 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 Caitlin O’Brien, New York State government relations director for the American Heart Association, “We hope the county executive signs the bill without delay.”

“Studies have shown that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will significantly reduce the number of teens and young adults who start smoking,” O’Brien 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, according to the AHA.

“New York continuously leads the nation in pursuit of quality tobacco control, like with our high tobacco tax and clean indoor air policies,” O’Brien said. “Westchester 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 and other health policies to by joining www.yourethecure.org.

Heart Advocacy Update from Albany

Update from Caitlin O’Brien, NYS American Heart Association Government Relations Director

With New York State finalizing the State budget this past weekend, the Heart Association scored some great public health wins. With the Governor threatening to cut millions of dollars in funding to crucial public health programs, AHA staff and advocates worked hard to make sure this didn’t come to fruition. After months of email, calls, and meetings with elected officials, our hard work paid off and the cuts were rejected in the final budget. This means programs like the Hypertension Program, aimed at reducing rates of heart disease and stroke, will continue to get $692,000 in critical funding. Additionally, the Obesity/Diabetes Prevention Program received $5.9 million, which will help people in communities across the State live healthier lives. Lastly, our elected officials held steady funding aimed at tobacco cessation in the Tobacco Control Program.

As we look toward the rest of the legislative session, we have plenty of policy priorities to support. Here is what we will be focusing on:

  • Raising the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products to 21 through the passage of Tobacco 21.
  • Prohibiting flavored tobacco products which the tobacco industry targets to youth
  • Instituting healthy vending machines throughout state owned properties
  • Offering healthier, non-sugary beverages in children’s meals at restaurants

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Join us on May 8 for Lobby Day at the New York State Capitol to push for the passage of Tobacco 21. Email me at Obrien@heart.org to learn more or sign up.
  • Join You’re the Cure online at www.yourethecure.org 
  • Take action when you get an email from You’re the Cure! With one click, you can let your legislator know that you support the American Heart Association’s initiatives.
By |April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |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

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