Thank to volunteers like you, 2017 has been quite a year here in NJ!
hero_image_alt_text===An image stating "Thank You" with a ribbon in the shape of a heart.
thumbnail_alt_text===An image stating "Thank You" with a ribbon in the shape of a heart.
It's been quite a year here in New Jersey! You and your fellow "You're the Cure" advocates have made your voice heard and contributed toward change for the better. In these last few days of 2017 and the legislative session, we look back on the year and celebrate the progress we have made this year.
After several attempts over the past few years, New Jersey became the 3rd state in the nation (and the 1st on the East Coast) to raise the age of sale for all tobacco products and e-cigarettes from 19 to 21. So many advocates from throughout the state contacted their elected officials repeatedly to emphasize the impact that this could have on the health of our state.
This year's state budget included funding to make improvements to the state's stroke registry. The New Jersey Department of Health collects data on stroke care in the state so the data can be analyzed and updates can be made to the stroke system of care. Resources have been scarce for several years, but this year, the Legislature and Governor provided $750,000 to the department to update data collection systems and analyze the data in a more efficient way.
We have also made significant progress to funding tobacco prevention initiatives and programs to help smokers quit. Funding for this purpose was eliminated years ago, but the last state budget included $500,000-a big increase from previous years. The Legislature and Governor are moving toward increasing this to approximately $6.7 million for next year. The decision to do this should be final in the next few days.
As we pause to reflect on the past year and celebrate all the progress we made, I want to thank you for all that you do. Its volunteers like you that are the engine of change, and none of the progress we have made would be possible without you. I hope that you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday season. I look forward to continuing to work with you in 2018 and beyond.