We're in Week 3 of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session. If you recall, we have two key polices this year, which are to create a STEMI Registry and to raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products to 21.
There is a type of heart attack that is so deadly many call it the widow-maker. Nearly 400,000 people die every year from this sudden heart stopping heart attack that is clinically known as an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
More research is urgently needed to save lives while improving treatment and care of those who suffer debilitating and too often deadly STEMI heart attacks.
That is why we're urging the Florida Legislature to support House Bill 1313 and Senate Bill 1032 to create a statewide STEMI Registry that would anonymously track procedures and outcomes during every step of the patient journey. This protected information will help health care professionals improve and create new medical practices aimed at not only preventing these heart attacks but increasing survival rates.
Establishing a STEMI Registry would also:
- Lower mortality rates in Florida from STEMI heart attacks
- Decrease the long-term cost of care for Floridians by treating STEMI patients promptly through established procedures
- Improve the heart health of Floridians at risk for or who have experienced STEMI
- Help the Department of Health gauge responses and outcomes needed to devise improvements for health care in STEMI patient
House Bill 1313 by Rep. Lawrence McClure - We're working to get the bill heard in its first committee stop, House Health Innovations Subcommittee.
Senate Bill 1032 by Sen Dennis Baxley - We're working to get the bill heard in its first committee stop, Senate Health Policy Committee.
Our second key priority this session is to raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco from 18 to 21.
Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of heart disease. The tobacco companies spend $1 million every hour to market their products, much of it aimed at young people. Combine that with the fact that 95 percent of adult smokers began smoking before age 21, we must do more to prevent youth smoking. Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 will help counter the industry’s efforts to target young people at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking. It also will help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.
We're thrilled to share that several Representatives also support our efforts and have recently sponsored House Bill 1029; they are Representatives Gayle Harrell, David Santiago, Jackie Toledo and Ralph Massullo, MD. For the Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 1288, we have picked up one co-sponsor with several others expressing interest.
House Bill 1029 by Reps. Lori Berman and Bill Hager - We're working to get the bill heard in its first committee stop, House Careers & Competition.
Senate Bill 1288 by Sen. David Simmons - We're working to get the bill heard in its first committee stop, Senate Regulated Industries Committee.