American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
WELCOME! PLEASE LOGIN OR SIGN UP

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
SIGN UP
Remembering the Heart of a Friend

Last week, NC said good-bye to freshman lawmaker, Representative Jim Fulghum (R-Wake).  He passed away on July 19th after a short battle with cancer, at the age of 70.  Representative Fulghum was a retired neurosurgeon and his medical experience was a true asset to the NC General Assembly. 

During his short time in the General Assembly, Representative Fulghum was a champion for health issues.  The first legislation that he sponsored was a top priority for the American Heart Association, HB 105: Require Pulse Oximetry Newborn Screening companion bill to SB 98, which was signed into law on May 8, 2013.   He was also the lead sponsor for HB 827: Designate Primary Stroke Centers companion bill to SB 456 which was also signed by the Governor on the same day as the pulse oximetry screening law.  In addition, Representative Fulghum worked closely with tobacco control advocates both in 2013 and 2014 to ensure that e-cigarette/vapor products legislation defined these new products as a tobacco product, ensuring that these products would be included in NC’s tobacco-free policies, especially in our schools.

The NC AHA Advocacy Coordinating Committee recognized Representative Jim Fulghum for his commitment to strong public health policies of importance to the AHA on December 14, 2013.  Committee member, Peg O’Connell presented him with the NC AHA’s Heart of a Friend Award.  We all were looking forward to continuing our work with Representative Fulghum for years to come. 

“I can hardly believe that he has left us,” said Betsy Vetter, Sr. Government Relations Director.  “Representative Fulghum quickly distinguished himself as a true leader in the legislature.  It was such a pleasure to work with him on issues.  He was very thoughtful and knowledgeable.  North Carolina will miss him greatly.”

The AHA extends our heartfelt sympathies to the Fulghum family.  We have lost a health-hero. 

Read More

Help Make Our Communities Smokefree

The American Heart Association as a member of the Smokefree Idaho coalition is working to make communities across our state smokefree. With help from advocates like you we have helped pass smokefree ordinances in Boise and Ketchum that include all indoor places including bars.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that secondhand tobacco smoke is directly linked to heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

We believe that everyone has the right to breathe clean air. We believe that workers should not be forced to choose between their job and their health.

If you would like to help us make your community smokefree please click here and share your comments of support.

We need your help to make our cities healthier places.

Read More

E-Cigarettes in the news

Have you been reading a lot about the e-cigarette bills in the news lately?  If you need to catch up, here's a sample of what's out there:

Battle Creek Enquirer: Snyder should veto e-cigarette legislation

Detroit Free Press: Michigan bills that would ban minors from buying e-cigs cause concern

Check these out and then be sure to send a message to the Governor asking him to veto these bills.  Click here to visit our Action Alert and send your message today!   

The American Heart Association oppose these bills because they create a separate category for e-cigarettes and other vapor devices whether they contain tobacco or nicotine or not.  If these products are explicitly separated from other tobacco products and are considered a special class of products within state law, they could be exempt from current and future tobacco control laws.

We continue to support House Bill 5393, sensible legislation that would also prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, but it would do so by treating them exactly like any other tobacco product.

Read More

Happy New Year, New York City!

Say what?? That's right...it's the new fiscal year for the American Heart Association. While much of our focus remained on the state-level opportunities, we have a lot to celebrate here in New York City! Let's take a look back as we prepare to move forward:

CPR in Schools legislation: Thanks to your help as dedicated advocates and Council Members Corey Johnson and Costa Constantinides, New York City Council introduced Resolution 193 which will require that the NYC Chancellor consider implementing the training requirement for city secondary schools. The resolution now resides in the Council Education Committee and is gathering speed! Is your Council Member a sponsor yet? If you haven't already done so, please take action on the most recent NYC action alert to make sure they know how important this curriculum standard is!

Hands-Only CPR Training at City Council Offices: On June 4th, the American Heart Association traveled downtown to train City Council Members and their staff on the life-saving skill of Hands-Only CPR. Thanks to Council Member Julissa Ferreras, who helped sponsor the event, our city resolution (Res 193) has now accumulated almost a dozen sponsors.

Hands-Only CPR Training at Foley Square Park: Thanks to a generous donation, the American Heart Association provided an all-day Hands-Only CPR training on June 5th in the shadow of the Tweed Courthouse – home to the NYC Department of Education. More than 200 New Yorkers were trained in Hands-Only CPR using the CPR Anytime kits. Despite the threat of rain, New York City proved that Hands-Only CPR training is in-demand and the CPR in Schools proposal is warranted.

New York City leads the way against Big Tobacco: As the Bloomberg administration looked to the conclusion of their term, the Mayor, Commissioner Farley and Speaker Quinn prioritized several policies aimed at further lowering our city’s smoking rates. The Sensible Tobacco Enforcement law improves the enforcement of the city’s tax laws while also establishing a new minimum price floor ($10.50) for all packs of cigarettes and little cigars – and requiring that inexpensive cigars be sold in packs no less than four and little cigars in packs of 20. At the same time, the city enacted a new law that dictates a minimum sales age of 21 for cigarettes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Speaking of E-cigarettes: The American Heart Association is supportive of efforts to include electronic cigarettes in clean indoor air laws. As e-cigarettes didn't exist in the US when New York City approved our Smoke Free Air Act more than a decade ago, city lawmakers pursued a last-minute opportunity to close that loophole as the clock ticked down on the Council Session. Indeed, this was the final bill signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg before he left office in January.

Thanks to you, we've made great progress toward our goal of making New York City the healthiest city in America. We have a long way to go - but thanks to your dedication, we are in great shape as we build momentum with our new city decision-makers!

Read More

E-cigarette market rises, health experts warn users

Check out this recent news report about electronic cigarettes from WISH-TV in Indiana, featuring quotes from Danielle Patterson, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association.  

“There’s no sense in trading in one tobacco product from an industry that’s been deceiving us for years for another product from that industry,” Danielle Patterson said.

Patterson is with the American Heart Association and says e-cigarettes should not be considered an alternative to smoking tobacco.

“You’re still taking in carcinogens. You may be off traditional cigarettes, you may feel like you don’t smell like cigarette smoke, but you’re still taking in harmful products into your body,” Patterson said.

Click here to  Read the rest of the story.

Read More

Mary Cushman - An Advocacy "Hero"

American Heart Association Advocate and Board Member Mary Cushman takes her role as an advocate seriously, serving on both the Vermont and National AHA Advocacy Committees.

As a physician and researcher, she knows both are important to preventing lives lost to heart disease and stroke.  But she also knows that advocacy is the third important tool in her war chest to prevent these terrible diseases and save lives through policy change.

Mary has traveled to Washington, DC to urge Vermont's Congressional Delegation to support research funding. She takes action often through the American Heart Association's own www.yourethecure.org advocacy network and has worked on such issues as CPR in Schools, a tobacco tax and sugar sweetened beverage tax and recreational use of school property.  She's been so active, that she is now ranked as a  Hero in our network, having earned over 700 points for her actions in responding to advocacy alerts. Way to go Mary!

The more you take action, the more points you'll earn and the higher your advocacy status will climb! Thanks to Mary and all our advocates for making advocacy a priority.

Read More

End of Session Wrap-up

The NYS Session has wrapped up and we're happy to report substantial progress in many areas.  Here's a quick recap.

CPR in Schools bill passes both houses:  Thanks to the help of our dedicated advocates and the bill sponsors, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Senator Mark Grisanti, we took a major step to ensure NYS students learn CPR before graduation.  The CPR in Schools bill will now be sent to the Governor.  The new proposal specifically calls for the following:

  • The Commissioner of the State Education Department would have 180 days to make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding the adoption of CPR/AED instruction in the curriculum.  
  • The Commissioner would need to seek input from interested parties – teachers, administrators, parents, students and other interested parties; and consider time and financial impacts.
  • The Board of Regents would then have 60 days to accept or reject recommendations.

CPR “So Many Reasons” Campaign launched:  This May, the American Heart Association launched a heartwarming campaign entitled “So Many Reasons.  Starting in May and until the CPR bill passed both houses, we sent a “reason” to our state lawmakers about why the CPR in Schools bill should pass. The reasons were real stories about real New Yorkers - people alive because of CPR and/or AED use; or people who are not alive because CPR wasn’t started, or not started soon enough.

Brianna’s Law passes NYS Assembly:  Legislation to ensure all police officers are certified in CPR every two years passed the NYS Assembly.  

Our first ever CPR Rally:  On June 3rd the Capitol was a sea of red at our first ever CPR rally!  Approximately 100 volunteers traveled to the Capitol to show lawmakers how to keep the beat.  Following a press conference, volunteers from throughout the state all performed CPR together to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.  Volunteers then spoke directly with lawmakers.

Physical Fitness and Activity Bill to be sent to the Governor: We know how important physical activity is for our heart health.  The American Heart Association supported legislation to create a New York State Physical Fitness and Activity Education Campaign. This campaign would encourage physical activity which will improve the fitness of the people of NYS and will complement existing programs administered by the department of health that develop and promote nutrition and wellness activities.

E-cigarettes:  The American Heart Association is supportive of legislation to include e-cigarettes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA).  Why?  Electronic cigarettes didn’t exist when we enacted the CIAA and we don’t know the impact that long term exposure has on cardiovascular health. Bills moved in both houses this session however it did not come up for a full vote by the Senate or the Assembly.

Trans Fat:  Legislation to eliminate the use of sneaky trans fat in restaurants moved in both houses however the bill couldn’t compete with the many other priorities of legislators and didn’t pass this session.  We will continue to push to take this dangerous fat off the menu.

Protecting your health - Funding maintained for Obesity prevention and Tobacco Control:  Despite attempts to consolidate funding for chronic disease programs, we were able to garner support to reject this approach and maintain transparency.  And funding for programs designed to prevent heart disease and stroke was maintained.

Not one, but two successful Lobby Days! For the first time ever, we held two NYS State Lobby Days.  And the results speak for themselves.  Our volunteers are just the best!  We maintained funding for heart/stroke prevention and passed a CPR in Schools bill! 

Thanks for all that you do!

 

Read More

Katie Seay, Florida

Sometimes staff can make great advocates for the American Heart Association. Take Katie Seay, Patient Market Manager, for example. Until recently, she worked as the communications director for Jacksonville, Florida and handled media advocacy efforts across the state. Katie's passion for the American Heart Association - and interest in advocacy - certainly came into play during the 2014 legislative session.

A bill was moving through the House and Senate with very good intentions. The bill, if passed, would prohibit minors from purchasing e-cigarettes and force retailers to sell the e-cigarette and other nicotine dispensing devices behind the counter like other tobacco products. So after the Senate had passed the bill, the House was moving along nicely when a bomb exploded in the form of a preemption amendment. The language would strike all existing local county and municipality tobacco ordinances from the books and prevent them from adding more as we went forward.

Enter the American Heart Association and its tobacco control partners. Through the collaboration of all the organizations involved, an action plan was created. Katie, along with several coalition partners, worked the highly successful media plan. First steps for the group were to create letters to the Editor (LTEs), Op Ed pieces, press releases, media event releases, talking points for volunteers and then coordinating all media outlets around the state. Katie, taking the lead, coordinated all the edits and changes to all the documents, made sure each organization signed off on the final product.

The kick off to the media campaign was to hold a press event at the capitol. Katie and fellow PR person, Lisa Hall, coordinated all the media outlets and we received massive coverage from the event. Once the press event was over, Katie released the hounds, so to speak, working with communications directors across the state to launch LTE after LTE with Op Ed’s and phone calls and interviews.

With Katie’s efforts we managed to rally around a press event in Tallahassee, publish over 90 online and print articles about the preemption language, garner massive public support around our issue and ultimately with her efforts in the media and working with our coalition partners, we were able to remove the bad preemption language from the bill.

While the successful campaign was a true team effort, we want to thank you, Katie Seay, for helping us protect our youth from the highly addictive drug nicotine.

Read More

Smokefree Efforts Spread across Alabama

On June 10, 2014 the Gadsden City Council voted 4-1 in favor of the City of Gadsden Smokefree Air Ordinance. The ordinance creates smokefree public areas in the city including bars and lounges, and set limits for how close to public entrances smoking would be allowed. The ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Read more in this Gadsden Times article and stay updated on local efforts via Facebook.

Right now, serious conversations also are taking place in Montgomery about the effects of secondhand smoke. If you live in Montgomery, here are some ways you can help:

  • Join the conversation on Facebook
  • Attend the June 19th Addiction Inc. Screening Social at ASU's Hardy Center; click here to RSVP
  • Invite a representative of the Smokefree Montgomery campaign to attend your community organization or neighborhood association event; contact Stephanie Christie at smokefreemontgomery@heart.org

As you can tell, exciting smokefree work is taking place in our communities to protect residents from the hazards of secondhand smoke - and we're counting on You're the Cure advocates to help!

Read More

Speak Up for Tobacco Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new rule that would regulate all tobacco products, including cigars, electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, nicotine gels and dissolvables. This is a good step, as the FDA must have authority over these products to protect public health.

Among the new rule's requirements, manufacturers would have to disclose ingredient lists for their products and include warning labels on product packages and advertisements. It would ban the sale of these products to anyone under the age of 18, however, the rule does not go far enough to protect young people from the harms of tobacco.

As proposed, the rule does not prohibit the use of candy and fruit flavorings in these tobacco products. It also does not restrict marketing, despite a recent study showing a sharp increase in youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising in recent years. Candy and fruit flavorings and advertisements may account for the rapid rise in cigar and e-cigarette use by young people. These measures must be added.  

The public has until July 9th to submit comments on the proposed rule before it is finalized by the agency. You can tell FDA stronger standards are needed for all tobacco products. Add your voice today!

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse