Newsletter Feature - WA
Join Us Virtually November 30
We would like to invite you to a virtual training being hosted by the Patient Coalition of Washington. It will be a three part virtual training series ahead of the 2022 legislative session. While this will not be focused just on American Heart Association issues, this is a great opportunity to learn more about virtual advocacy from a variety of healthcare advocates. These will be evening events and each one will cover different topics.
The first training on November 30 at 5:30 pm will cover the following topics:
- Current Advocacy Landscape
How to have an effective meeting with your legislators
- How to prepare for a meeting
- How to organize your story & ask
- Adapting to a virtual environment
- How to find who your legislators are
- Tips & Tricks for effective legislator meetings
We hope that by holding these in the evening it will make it a little easier for you to join us. RSVP here and let us know if you plan on joining us.
hero_image_alt_text===A picture of an open laptop sitting on a desk
thumbnail_alt_text===A picture of an open laptop sitting on a desk
What exactly are PUP laws?
With the 2022 legislative session just around the corner, we want to talk with you about a new issue for our Washington Advocacy team: Purchase, Use, and Possession (PUP) laws for youth with tobacco.
Over the last decade, we have worked tirelessly to reduce the number of young people who are using e-cigarette/vape devices and other flavored tobacco products. During this time, one of the issues that has come up again and again is the need to reform Washington state’s PUP law. PUP laws were passed in the mid-90’s as an attempt to reduce the number of underage people purchasing and using tobacco products. However, these laws have not served as an effective deterrent for youth and have created several unintended consequences.
- PUP laws shift the responsibility from the vendors/tobacco retailers (who sell to those under the legal purchase age) to the young people who have been targeted by the tobacco/e-cigarette industry.
- PUP laws criminalize and punish youth for possessing, buying, and using tobacco products, which can include detainment, penalties, and fines.
- Law enforcement can stop those who they suspect are under 21 and in possession of or of using tobacco and ask them to produce identification.
- Enforcement of PUP laws disproportionately affects youth of color, LGBTQ youth and youth from low-income communities.
The tobacco industry spends $80 million a year marketing their products in Washington. Many of the flavors like gummy bear and skittles are clearly marketed towards young people. Currently, 21% of Washington high schoolers admit to regularly vaping. Reducing the number of young people who use flavored products will not be easy, but we believe there are more effective strategies and best practices to reduce youth initiation of smoking. The American Heart Association and our community coalition partners believe the PUP law should be reformed so that the focus of the penalty is on retailers who sell to underage buyers, not on the youth.
We expect legislation to be introduced to reform Washington’s PUP law during the 2022 legislative session and we hope we can count on your support when the time comes. If you have any questions about the issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email us directly at [email protected] or [email protected].
hero_image_alt_text===A pack of cigarettes with some cigarettes replaced with rolled up money
thumbnail_alt_text===A pack of cigarettes with some cigarettes replaced with rolled up money