Last week, over 50 American Heart Association advocates in Colorado gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate our accomplishments and set new goals for the legislative session, especially efforts to bring us closer to the Tobacco Endgame and stop the youth vaping epidemic.
Rebecca Dubroff, Colorado Government Relations Director got us kicked off, and introduced three student members of the youth advocacy group Uprise. Uprise combats teen tobacco and nicotine use and Amanda Barton, Emery McDowell, and Katherine Yu - all Colorado high school students - spoke to the group about the dangers of the youth vaping epidemic and highly addictive e-cigarettes. Jada Pace, daughter of long-time AHA advocate and survivor Lori Pace, also spoke. Jada is in middle school and has seen other classmates already taking up vaping.
Denver Heart Association Board President, Dr. Ray Estacio followed the students to speak to advocates about the current science on the dangers of e-cigarettes. Sara Schueneman, Senior Vice President of the AHA Colorado then introduced our keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Primavera who shared the importance of taking action to combat tobacco and nicotine use.
After our speakers, advocates went to the House and Senate galleries to hear tributes to Wear Red Day and were recognized for their efforts to fight for heart health in Colorado. Many of the lawmakers on the floor wore red to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease and stroke.