They come from different parts of the state, and they’ll all be dressed in red. Advocates with the American Heart Association will hit the halls of the Capitol buildings today, MONDAY, MAY 1, to ask their representatives to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Mandeep Sidhu, cardiologist at Albany Medical Center and president of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “Ninety-five percent of smokers began before they were 21. Nobody should smoke, but we especially want to protect our youth from potentially shortened, unhealthy lives.”
Tobacco 21, (S3978/A273), is sponsored by state Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island and state Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan. Savino and Rosenthal will meet with the American Heart Association advocates in Meeting Room 2 of the Empire State Plaza before they begin their legislative visits at 11:30 a.m.
Nine localities in New York, and 226 across the country, have already passed Tobacco 21.
American Heart Association advocates will be joined by representatives from the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the New York State Public Health Association.