newsletter state - wa
Help Us End Nicotine Addiction
We greatly appreciate your support and interest in our advocacy work on the issue of flavored tobacco products. This is an issue in every state and I’d like to give you a quick update on where the issue stands in Washington and invite you to help us with the campaign.
Washington continues to see a rise in the number of people, especially youth, using flavored tobacco products. In fact, recent data tells us that 21 percent of Washington high schoolers admit to regularly using flavored e-cigarettes/vape. Research also tells us that 8 out of 10 people who use tobacco start with a flavored product, which is why we believe restricting the sale of these enticing flavors is so important. Currently, the industry spends over $80 million a year to market their products in Washington. We must do something to fight back and help stop another generation from nicotine addiction.
During the 2021 legislative session, we supported legislation that would have restricted the sale of all flavored tobacco products including mint and menthol but unfortunately it did not make it out of committee by the first deadline. We are not giving up! We fully intend to be back next legislative session and we need your support.
Will you pledge to help us end nicotine addiction next legislative session? By doing so, you will receive emails from us with advocacy updates and when the time is right, we will alert you to opportunities for action and outreach to state lawmakers.
Thank you for your support. If you have any questions or would like to chat, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Grace Henscheid – [email protected]
Meet the New Washington Government Relations Director
Hi! My name is Penny Lipsou and I’m the new Washington State Director of Government Relations with the American Heart Association! I am so incredibly excited to be starting in this role. It is a real privilege to work on critical health care issues like improving our systems of care, increasing access and affordability, wellness and healthy living.
Prior to my position with the AHA, I worked in the Washington State Legislature as staff to State Representative Nicole Macri. My background in policy practice is grounded in my experiences as a social worker and in community organizing -- I’ve worked in crisis outreach, education access, and with domestic violence programs. I caught the political bug in my work with Rep. Macri and am grateful for gaining a much deeper understanding of the politics at the state and local levels. I’m passionate about equitable access and centering community voice for systems-level change.
I feel very lucky for this opportunity and am eager to push for important policies that will help uplift our communities to live better, healthier lives. The pandemic has impacted us individually and collectively in such intense ways, especially in illuminating policies that need change. While Washington State is a leader on many fronts, we still have a lot of work to do -- I look forward to connecting with you so that we can be successful in pushing for real change!
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