American Heart Association (AHA)

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2021 Apr 7: Clear the Vapor Conference 2021: The Way Forward

  • Sponsors:
    • $50,000 - CVS Health
    • $25,000 - Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), Truth Initiative
    • $10,000 - RESCUE - The Behavior Change Agency
    • $5,000 - Soter Technologies
    • $2,500 - American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Collaborators: African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), CATCH Global Foundatioin, The Center for Black Health and Equity, Stanford Medicine Tobacco Prevention Toolkit
  • Speakers, Moderators, and topics:

2019 Nov 15: American Heart Association to invest $20M for youth vaping research

  • The American Heart Association announced Friday that it will invest $20 million in research on how vaping affects young people.
  • “This is the single highest priority of the American Heart Association right now,” said Nancy Brown, the organization’s CEO

2018: Fear Profiteers

  • For most non-profits, private donations are their only means of funding. But, by making the case that they provide a public service, some health advocacy groups have succeeded in securing a steady supply of taxpayer funds."
  • Anti-tobacco advocates have also convinced state governments to hand millions of dollars over to them. For example, in 1988 Californians voted on Proposition 99, a ballot measure to triple the state’s tax on cigarettes and extract a $1.4 billion windfall from smokers over three years. Of that money, 25 percent was earmarked for tobacco control research and health education programs. Because the anti-smoking groups in California expected to receive some of that $350 million, the measure triggered a lobbying bonanza, with groups like the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association throwing their considerableweight and cash behind Prop 99"... (More on this on page 21 [22/100])
    • "The ACS (American Cancer Society) invested more than $200,000 in cash, loans, and staff to convince Californians to vote for Prop 99. It was the largest policy advocacy project ACS had undertaken up to that point. Prop 99 won. In its 1990 annual report, the ACS California division claimed the tax “will help us fund health care services and education” and that “wheels are in motion to ensure that the funds are allocated and managed wisely."
    • "After the cigarette tax was approved, the health advocacy groups took to squabbling over how much money each organization should get from the revenue it would generate. In a news conference, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association accused the California Medical Association (CMA) of “playing into the hands of tobacco interests by pushing lawmakers to shift $100 million from the antismoking program to health care programs for the poor.” What riled the health groups was a letter sent by the CMA to legislators, in which it noted that “antismoking crusaders are not always motivated by public interest or high ideals,” and that they were “fighting for this money like jackals over a carcass.”
  • "Public health advocates also gain access to public funds by working as subcontractors for local health departments. For example, a 1993 CDC grant to the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, part of its “Initiatives to Mobilize for the Prevention and Control of Tobacco Use” program, noted that the funds would be used to deploy a “Tobacco Free Florida Coalition.” The purpose of this effort, among other things, was to provide advocacy for tobacco control legislation, like increased taxes, indoorsmoking bans, and restrictions on advertising and sales of tobacco. The funds created the role of Coalition Coordinator, a position “located at the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Tampa, Florida.” Of the 10 paid personnel listed for the Tobacco Free Florida, half came from either the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, or American Cancer Society. Unsurprisingly, in 2018, when the Florida legislature considered a proposal to divert some funds from the Tobacco Free Florida program to cancer research, these groups mobilized to lobby against that proposal."
  • Since 1996, RWJF has given more than $22 million to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights and its educational arm, American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. In addition to RWJF, American Nonsmokers’Rights received nearly $5 million between 1995 and 1999 from the California Department of Health Services raised from California’s Prop 99 cigarette tax increase—to compile what several media outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, described as an “enemies list.” This involved monitoring and distributing information about people who spoke out against tobacco control policies at city council meetings, and even investigating a judge who had ruled unfavorably in a secondhand smoking case."
  • The "growing market for alternative tobacco products created new competitors for traditional tobacco companies and manufacturers of pharmaceutical nicotine. Declining cigarette sales, and declining cigarette tax revenues, also threaten to tighten the spigot of money flowing to anti-tobacco activists.

1995: RWJF: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids in 1995 (renaming it the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids [CTFK] in 1996). CTFK promotes policy and environmental changes that will prevent and reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, especially among children, as well as changes that will minimize the harm caused by tobacco. Other funders include the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  • Dates of Program: January 1996 to September 2007
  • From 1996 to 2006, CTFK:
    • Advocated for regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and others.
    • Launched Faith United Against Tobacco in 2002 to mobilize faith communities of all denominations to support proven solutions to reduce smoking.
    • Provided technical assistance to state and local coalitions working on three main tobacco-control goals: strong clean indoor air laws, tobacco tax increases and increased state funding of tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
    • Became a national voice and brand for youth tobacco control.
    • Conducted communications activities to increase the awareness among media, policy-makers and national thought leaders of tobacco control as a pressing public health issue. According to CTFK's president Matt Myers, aggressive work by the campaign's communications arm to focus on tobacco as a public health issue has changed the way the media cover the subject.