Everyday, the American Heart Association advocates for policies that help prevent and treat heart disease and stroke in Louisiana. On September 29, the American Heart Association Louisiana Advocacy Committee voted on the organization's 2017-18 public policy agenda for the state.
This year, the American Heart Association will support and promote policies to:
- Create Complete Streets at the local and state levels that would provide more opportunities to include physical activity in your daily routines. Instead of focusing solely on motor vehicles, your city or neighborhood would be designed and built for the safety of all travelers. This includes those who walk, bike, use a wheelchair, use public transportation, and drive.
- Make all workplaces and public environments in Louisiana smoke-free. As you may know, secondhand smoke causes heart disease, cancer, lung disease and other illnesses to children and adults who do not smoke. The Institute of Medicine reports that studies from around the world have now provided evidence for the reduced incidence of heart attacks and hospitalizations after implementation of smokefree air laws. Isn't it time that Louisiana protects all residents from secondhand smoke while at work and in public?
- Maintain current and securing more funding for statewide cessation services. Quitting tobacco leads to increased productivity at work, less disability and chronic disease, and less medical expenditures, according to Professional Assisted Cessation Therapy (PACT).
- Ensure retailers do not sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 to deter our youth from staring to smoke. The younger people are when they smoke their first cigarette, the more likely they will be a smoker for life - which isn't good, considering smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.
- Require all 9-1-1 telecommunicators that provide dispatch for emergency medical conditions be trained in the delivery of high-quality telephone CPR. When you call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, you'll often wait 5-10 minutes in an ideal situation for EMS to arrive. For acute conditions like cardiac arrest, CPR must be initiated in minutes. A victim's chance of survival would increase if the dispatcher would walk the caller through CPR, while they wait for EMS.
We hope you'll support us in these advocacy efforts! Stay tuned for future You're the Cure alerts about how you can help. If you haven't yet, we invite you to become a You're the Cure advocate today at www.yourethecure.org/join.