The Albany office would like to highlight Founders Affiliate Board member Marc Hamroff for his outstanding work done in support of passing Tobacco 21 in the Town of North Hempstead on Long Island, and for his commitment and dedication to the American Heart Association over the last seven years.
Marc first began working with the American Heart Association when his Dad, a former AHA board member and officer, passed away as a result of sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 69 while at a local gym. To make sense out of the loss, Marc ran the NYC marathon in 2009 for the AHA and never looked back! From there he ran two other marathons for the AHA, joined the Long Island Board, became Board Chair, became Chair of the Leadership Development Committee and is now a member of the Founders Affiliate board. In addition to these positions, Marc also runs the annual golf and tennis classics in support of AHA.
When we found out that the Town of North Hempstead was considering passing a local law that would raise the legal sale age of tobacco products from 18 to 21, we immediately reached out to our advocates in this area to help support the initiative. Marc was one of our first phone calls. He immediately sprang into action, offering to attend the public hearing and speak in favor of this tobacco control policy.
On the night of the public hearing, Marc attended the meeting and spoke about the importance of reducing the number of teens and young adults who pick up that first cigarette. He explained that 90% of smokers start before the age of 21 and that these very sales are what produce 9 out of 10 new smokers. He reminded lawmakers that they have an obligation as policymakers and influencers to protect our youth from the lifelong health problems associated with smoking.
The legislators agreed. They passed the initiative unanimously that same evening.
Marc is a dedicated advocate through and through. He knows the importance of passing public health policies that help New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives. His commitment to the American Heart Association knows no bounds and we are extremely grateful to Marc – today and every day—for his dedication to what the AHA lives by. Life is Why.