Archive for the ‘Tobacco’ Category

AHA Urges an Appeal on Court Ruling on Tobacco Labels

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Washington, D.C., Aug. 24, 2012 American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on today’s ruling by the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit against the use of tobacco warning labels:

“With today’s decision, the judges have thrown out one of the best tools we have to force smokers to face the consequences of their choice, and stop the industry from addicting a new generation. The court has, in effect, insulted the intelligence of all Americans by implying we cannot distinguish the meaning of graphic tobacco warning labels.

As the Surgeon General reported recently, the decline in smoking is stalled, and more young Americans are using tobacco products. Each of the 1,200 Americans who die from tobacco-related diseases every day are being replaced by two smokers under the age of 26. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that 45.3 million adult Americans smoked cigarettes. In the U.S., about one-third of smoking-related deaths are linked to heart disease and stroke.

Graphic tobacco labels would help us stop this tragic trajectory. Research indicates that these vivid images are very effective in heightening awareness about the dangers of smoking and halting tobacco use.

Smoking kills. The gravity of that statement is often dismissed until we are confronted with the terrible effects of tobacco addiction. The American Heart Association sincerely hopes this decision is overturned on appeal, so we can move closer to making our nation 100 percent smoke free.”

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New Ads are a Compelling Weapon in the Fight Against Smoking

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Washington, D.C., Mar. 15, 2012American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the new National Tobacco Education Campaign, unveiled today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

“The CDC’s new tobacco education campaign could not come at a better time. The painfully real accounts of former smokers featured in these ads will focus public attention on the devastating health effects of tobacco use, encourage current smokers to quit and help strongly combat the tobacco industry’s efforts to foster a new generation of addicts.

About one-third of smoking-related deaths in the United States are linked to cardiovascular disease. The stories of two Americans included in this campaign, who suffered from a heart attack and a stroke as a result of smoking, are harrowing examples of how tobacco can ruin an individual’s health. The ads highlight a shocking but very realistic fate that could await some current smokers if they continue their tobacco addiction. As the ads emphasize, smoking contributes to 1 in 5 strokes, and your chances of having a heart attack increase every time you light up.

The Surgeon General’s report released last week points to strong evidence that tobacco-education media campaigns can help reduce the number of smokers in this country. The American Heart Association believes these graphic ads, coupled with vigorous tobacco control at the state level, will reach not only the adults who smoke, but also will break through to teens and discourage them from ever taking up this deadly habit.”

Visit the CDC website  or click the video below to see these compelling ads for yourself!


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AHA CEO Nancy Brown’s Statement on Latest Court Ruling on Tobacco Warning Labels

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Washington, D.C., Feb. 29, 2012 American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on today’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon that the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco warning labels are unconstitutional:

“Today’s district court ruling that the FDA’s tobacco warning labels violate the First Amendment is unconscionable.

In his decision, Judge Leon stated that tobacco warning labels fail to convey any factual information about the health consequences of smoking. Nothing could be further from the truth. These labels clearly depict the terrible effects of tobacco addiction. Additionally, research has shown that these images are very effective in reducing tobacco use.

The American Heart Association believes that the graphic depictions of smoking-related diseases on cigarette packages will drive home the message that tobacco use is an equal opportunity killer, affecting smokers and nonsmokers alike. Cigarette smoking causes about 443,000 premature deaths each year and about 49,000 of these deaths are due to secondhand smoke.

In the United States, about one-third of smoking-related deaths are linked to heart disease and stroke.

Tobacco warning labels play a vital role to help current smokers quit and keep children from becoming addicted. Without them there could be more deaths from tobacco addiction and more profits for the tobacco industry.

While Judge Leon’s ruling was not unexpected given his earlier decision to block graphic warning labels, we sincerely hope this decision will be overturned on appeal.”



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Cigar Sponsorship of the Orange Bowl Stopped

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

The planned partnership between the Orange Bowl and Canacho Cigars for three-years has been cancelled. This major reversal represents a big victory for public health advocates who believed that a tobacco company sponsoring a NCAA event would have sent a bad message to youth. Senators Dick Durbin, Frank Lautenberg and Richard Blumenthal, as well as the AHA and other public health groups, sent letters to the Orange Bowl and the NCAA asking them to cancel their sponsorship.

Before the reversal, the Orange Bowl had planned on providing on-site cigar lounges and other events around the cigar company. In addition, the Company also had a sponsorship deal for the 2013 National Championship game.

This a huge victory for public health!

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Statement By AHA CEO Nancy Brown on Teen Smoking Numbers

Friday, December 16th, 2011

“The drop in teen smoking rates announced  … as part of the Monitoring the Future Survey is very exciting news in the fight to stop tobacco use by the young people of this nation. The new survey indicates that students reporting any cigarette smoking in three grades — 8, 10 and 12, declined overall to 11.7 percent from 12.8 percent in 2010. This is clear evidence of our successful efforts to heighten awareness about the dangers of smoking, persuade smokers to quit, and discourage smoking initiation.

But much more work needs to be done. As the survey reveals, teens are using other tobacco products such as hookah water pipes and small cigars at a disturbing rate, and there’s always the chance that cigarette smoking rates among students could stall or be reversed. To prevent this, we continue to strongly encourage state policy makers to better advance highly effective tobacco prevention policies such as increased funding for tobacco control programs, passage of tough smoke-free workplace laws and higher tobacco taxes.

Big Tobacco will continue its relentless efforts to capture the attention of our kids and addict them early in life. As a result, millions of children will be lured into a lifetime of tobacco use that will cause them to die prematurely from heart disease, stroke or other chronic diseases. We must be just as relentless and work to eradicate the use of tobacco by all young Americans, because the health of the next generation is critical to our nation’s future.”

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Make a Call for Prevention Today!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

If we invested just $10 a person each year in community health programs, our country would save $16 billion a year – while still providing quality health care. Those are some big savings! That’s why we need your help to tell Congress to keep investing in public health through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

The Prevention Fund was recently established to empower individuals and communities with the tools and resources they need to help prevent heart disease, stroke, obesity, and tobacco use. But now it is in jeopardy as Congress looks to make spending cuts. Tell your elected officials, “Don’t make cuts to the Prevention Fund” by calling them today.

Calling your elected officials is fast and painless, and today you’ll be joining with thousands of people who are speaking out. We are partnering with dozens of other public health organizations to defend the Prevention Fund by calling lawmakers today. Here’s how to make your call:

1. Before the end of the day, call your legislators by connecting to the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Don’t know your legislators? Click here  and use our Legislator Look-Up tool to find out.

2. A staff person will answer the phone. It’s their job to take calls from constituents, so don’t be shy! Tell that person your name, where you’re calling from, and that you are counting on the Member to support the Prevention Fund, which will save American lives by helping prevent heart disease and stroke.

3. Many calls end here. However, if you like, you can add that he/she should support the fund because:

• The U.S. needs to invest in prevention in order to get health care costs and the budget under control. For example, the combination of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and diabetes costs the U.S. an additional $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

• The Fund supports effective, proven prevention programs aimed at reducing chronic illnesses, such as childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation.

4. Once you’ve ended your call, click here to tell us how it went!

Congressional staffers are there to take your calls and keep tabs on what constituents care about to inform the decisions of our nation’s leaders. Your quick call will make a big difference.

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You’re the Cure goes to Austin, TX

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Texas You’re the Cure advocates are not taking a break before the holiday!

On November 21, You’re the Cure advocates and American Heart Association staff traveled to the Texas Capitol to speak to state legislators and staff about top hearth health priorities. After a 30 minute training, eight advocates, including a stroke survivor and youth advocate, took to the Capitol hallways advocating for smokefree workplaces and strengthening physical education standards in schools.

In addition to visiting state legislation offices, You’re the Cure advocates were also able to visit offices of the members that sit on the House Education Committee.

Great work Texas!

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Major League Baseball Limits Smokeless Tobacco Use

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

A good first step. On November 22nd, Major League Baseball announced tighter restrictions pertaining to the use of smokeless tobacco by its players, as part of a new labor deal. Although players will still be able to use smokeless tobacco products during the game, they now cannot use them in pre-and post game interviews, or display packages in their back pockets when spectators are in the stands. In addition, the players union has agreed to partake in a national public service campaign with the Partnership at

This is a good first step, but there is still room for improvement.

See American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown’s statement below:

“The American Heart Association is pleased that baseball players recognize the dangers of smokeless tobacco use and will now take steps to reduce its visibility during and after games and other public events, and educate young people about its dangers.
While today’s Major League Baseball agreement on smokeless tobacco is not a grand slam, it is definitely a solid base hit.  Although the players would not agree to stop using tobacco while on the field, the contract provisions are an important step forward.
Children who emulate their favorite players by using smokeless tobacco risk falling into a trap that can lead to a lifetime of nicotine addiction.  Evidence shows that kids who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.
Baseball is the nation’s pastime, and Americans cherish this great game and its time-honored traditions. But in the case of smokeless tobacco, there are clear indications that tradition leads to undesired health consequences, including oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.”

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Quit Smoking Today by Celebrating the Great American Smokeout!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Have you always wanted to quit? Are you always telling friends and family you’ll stop smoking tomorrow? Well, tomorrow is now today! Join our friends at the American Cancer Society and celebrate the 36th annual Great American Smokeout by kicking the habit right now. Today is the day where people from all over the country commit to quitting smoking. Not tomorrow. Not Monday. Not next year. Today!   

From a healthier heart to a little more cash in your pocket, the benefits of quitting smoking are crucial to anyone’s well-being! 

Still need a little inspiration to ditch the cigarettes? Watch the video below from President Obama and learn how to quit today!

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Statement: AHA CEO Strongly Urges Justice Department to Appeal Court Decision on Tobacco Warning Labels

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The American Heart Association ardently disagrees with today’s ruling by a federal judge blocking the implementation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new graphic warning labels on cigarette packs.  These warning labels are a vital part of keeping children from becoming addicted and helping current smokers quit.  We strongly encourage the Justice Department to appeal this ruling.

There is a clear reason why the tobacco industry is fighting these warning labels—they work. Many other countries already require graphic warning labels, and research has clearly shown that they are effective in reducing tobacco use.  We know from decades of experience that the tobacco industry will fight any laws that reduce its profits from selling a deadly product.  Today’s misguided court ruling could result in more deaths from tobacco addiction and more profits for the tobacco industry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes, about 20 percent of the population, and one in five high school students still smoke.  The new health warnings represent an aggressive and welcome approach to reducing smoking rates that have leveled off in recent years as tobacco companies continue to launch campaigns to entice new smokers and maintain current customers.

The American Heart Association believes that the graphic depictions of smoking-related diseases on cigarette packages will drive home the message that tobacco use is an equal opportunity killer, affecting smokers and nonsmokers alike. In the United States, about one-third of smoking-related deaths are linked to heart disease and stroke. Cigarette smoking causes about 443,000 premature deaths each year and about 49,000 of these deaths are due to secondhand smoke. 

Undoubtedly, the new graphic health warnings, if allowed to proceed, will heighten awareness about the dangers of smoking and more importantly, encourage smokers to quit and discourage smoking initiation.  We are confident that future court rulings will reverse Judge Leon’s decision and allow the FDA to move forward with these important warning labels.

For more information, visit

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