On May 3, 2017, advocates from the American Heart Association (AHA) You’re the Cure network, came together with several other organizations to educate DC Councilmembers about strengthening tobacco control policy and funding in the District. The joint advocacy day was a combined effort with the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, all organizations that share AHA’s concern about tobacco use in the District.
The messages were clear and critical:
- Increase the District’s cigarette tax by $2, to $4.50/pack to discourage tobacco use and reduce tobacco related diseases,
- Fund DC’s “Tobacco 21” law by providing $672,000 to enable implementation of the District’s new law that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21,
- Fully fund the District’s tobacco control programs at $10.7 million, the amount recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a comprehensive program.
Councilmembers and their staff listened attentively as advocates told them why these measures are so important to them, and the impact they could have in saving lives and keeping kids from using tobacco.
This event was advocacy in action, and is exactly how a constituent can help drive policy. Thank you to all who came out to help build a #TobaccoFreeDC!