2015 was a very successful legislative session in Hawaii. With your help we passed 4 lifesaving pieces of legislation:
Screening Newborns for Heart Defects - The Hawaii State Legislature passed legislation requiring that all babies born in birthing centers are screened for critical congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry to provide them a better chance of survival and improve their long-term health.
Stroke Systems of Care - The Hawaii State Legislature passed legislation requiring all Hawaii acute stroke hospitals to collect and submit patient stroke data to the State Department of Health to be used to optimize the quality and timeliness of Hawaii’s stroke system of care and improve patients’ outcomes.
Tobacco to 21 - The Hawaii State Legislature became the first in the country to pass legislation raising the age of purchase and possession of tobacco products to 21. Research shows that if young people avoid smoking before that age, they are very unlikely to ever pick up the deadly and expensive addiction.
Adding e-cigarettes to the state smoke-free air law - As of Jan. 1, e-cigarette use is restricted the same way that cigarettes are, thus protecting non-users from exposure to possible toxins emitted by those devices.
With help from advocates like you we hope to make the next year just as successful as we work to build a healthier Hawaii.
Our 2016 priorities are:
CPR in Schools - We will continue to pursue policy to train public high school students in CPR before graduation, preparing the majority of Hawaii's 53,000 annual high school students to administer CPR in an emergency. Receiving early CPR, one of the keys in the “chain of survival” can triple a victim’s chance of surviving a sudden cardiac event.
Obesity Prevention - Frequent consumption of sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks and energy drinks is a leading risk factor for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and contributes to overweight and obesity. We will pursue legislation to remove sugary beverages as the default selection in restaurant children’s meals.
Tobacco Tax - Increase cigarette tax by a minimum $0.50 with revenue earmarked to address chronic disease prevention, and tobacco education, prevention and cessation, especially in those disparately-affected, and of lower-socioeconomic status.
Stroke Facility Designation - Enact statewide policy for the formal recognition of stroke facility designations and the development and implementation of EMS transport protocol plans for acute stroke patients in accordance with AHA criteria. This will ensure that stroke victims in Hawaii are taken to the hospital best equipped to help them and that they will receive the best care possible as quickly as possible.
We could not achieve success without you, our dedicated advocates. Thank you for your support and remember to keep an eye out for our emails in the upcoming months so that you can influence your policymakers on these important issues.