On Thursday, February 2nd over 55 You’re the Cure volunteers, survivors, and American Heart Association staff visited the Capitol in Phoenix to raise awareness about heart disease and advocate for a statewide policies to raise the minimum purchasing age of tobacco products to 21 years old and to create a stroke registry.
hero_image_alt_text===Advocates standing in front of Arizona Capitol building
thumbnail_alt_text===Advocates sitting in meeting with lawmaker
Thanks to our volunteers, Arizona’s Heart at the Capitol was a very successful event! The day started with a brief advocacy training in the morning on the House Lawn followed by advocates heading over to the House and Senate building for office legislative meetings. We met directly with over 50 legislators to build support and momentum to pass House Bill 2335 (Tobacco to 21) and House Bill 2190 (Stroke Registry).
HB 2335 will limit youth access to tobacco products by increasing the minimum purchasing age from 18 to 21. By increasing the purchasing age to 21, HB 2335 will decrease tobacco and nicotine addiction in Arizona. During our event, HB 2335 passed out of its first committee thanks to the direct advocacy from our attendees during the day, the YTC advocates who took action online, and the personal testimony students from Yavapai Anti-Tobacco Coalition of Youth (YATCY) group.
HB 2190 will enact statewide standards for the development and utilization of stroke registries to improve access to effective, science-based care for stroke patients. Establishing a Stroke Registry will help improve the quality of care provided to stroke patients in Arizona, potentially saving lives and money! This bill will be heard in the House Health Committee Wednesday, February 15th.
Following the legislative meetings, our group broke into two groups and headed for both the House and Senate Galleries for a special Heart Month Proclamation readings. We thank the Arizona Legislature for recognizing our group and for formally making February Heart Month in Arizona by passing the proclamations!
This ended our event, but this was a great way for us to start conversations with legislators as HB 2335 and HB 2190 move through the legislative process. Please remember to regularly visit the action center to stay up-to-date on our campaigns.