Day at the Capitol 2021: Registration Now Open!

The Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT) and the Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU) are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for this year’s virtual Day at the Capitol!

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Time: 9 AM – 2 PM**
Location: Online
Advocacy Topics of Focus: Preserving funding to support tobacco prevention & cessation programs/services and supporting clean indoor air policies

Register today to receive the latest updates on the event, as well as an invitation to our annual Logistics Training webinar with additional details & information you will need. Registration deadline is April 20.
**Subject to change. Legislative visits will take place in the morning, followed by a virtual Town Hall in the early afternoon. Virtual activities will be available throughout the day.

Questions? Contact
State of Tobacco Control 2021: Proven Policies to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use

On Wednesday, January 27, the American Lung Association released the 19th annual State of Tobacco Control report. This report evaluates states and the federal government on the proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies necessary to save lives. The report serves as a blueprint for what state and federal leaders need to do to eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use. This year's report focuses on the importance of ending tobacco use amid the pandemic, as smoking is a risk factor for the most severe COVID symptoms. This is especially important for those populations and communities most impacted overall by tobacco use and secondhand smoke, who are also facing a disproportionate burden from the pandemic.

State of Tobacco Control 2021 shows that even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure remain leading public health threats, and smoking can cause more severe symptoms from COVID-19. State of Tobacco Control 2021 gave Pennsylvania grades in five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs: F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws: D
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes: F
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco: D
  • Ending the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products (NEW): F

Read more from the report here, such as the Lung Association's 12-point plan to end tobacco use, and find access to e-cigarette resources and more.
23 Attorneys General, Including PA, Call for Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

On January 22, a coalition of 23 attorneys general, including Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban menthol cigarettes. In the letter, the coalition argues that a ban on menthol cigarettes would benefit public health overall, decrease youth smoking, and help mitigate the harm menthol cigarettes do to minority populations. The letter also urges the FDA to complete rulemaking to prohibit menthol cigarettes and implement the prohibition immediately to save thousands of lives. The attorneys general argue that scientific evidence consistently demonstrates that removing menthol cigarettes from the marketplace will prevent more youth from smoking, improve smoking cessation outcomes and benefit public health overall.

To continue reading, please click here.
An Unrecognized Hazard in E-Cigarette Vapor

Up to 95% of the e-liquid in an e-cigarette consists of propylene glycol. Previous research has shown that when propylene glycol is heated it can generate diacetyl, the chemical associated with popcorn lung, and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. New research out of Harvard shows that another harmful chemical, methylglyoxal, is formed by heating propylene glycol. The study analyzed the chemical emissions from 13 JUUL pod flavors and found diacetyl and methylglyoxal in all of the samples. Research has previously shown that methylglyoxal causes respiratory and epithelial cell death and is more toxic to cells than diacetyl. Methylglyoxal has also been shown to have harmful effects on vascular function and a potential association with diabetic polyneuropathy. According to the researchers, the recent evidence that methylglyoxal is more cytotoxic to airway epithelial cells than diacetyl makes this finding an urgent public health concern.

To read the full research article, please click here.
Upcoming Events
Moving the Needle: COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution
Now that two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use, it’s important to understand the next steps. Join us for our next Town Hall, “Moving the Needle: COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution” on February 3 as our expert panelists discuss the planned phases for rollout, how vaccine distribution has gone thus far and plans to ensure preventative measures are in place for those most impacted by COVID-19. If you’ve missed our previous town halls, recordings are available here

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
4 -5 p.m. ET

Register here
Incorporating the Better For It Vaccine Toolkit
The American Lung Association, in partnership with the Center for Black Health and Equity, is hosting two workshops related to its Better For It Vaccine Toolkit.

A Capacity Building Training

To provide best practices on how to promote health education and achieve health equity, the American Lung Association collaborated with the Center for Black Health and Equity to develop a vaccine toolkit for use with volunteers, national partners, community partners, etc. The capacity building training is designed to provide a road map within communities to engage a greater segment of the population they serve. It will take a deep dive into establishing a collective process for inclusion of a representative, diverse, and targeted population for the subject of vaccines. Speakers will use tools such as nine questions as a guide to help frame the message that will provide a unifying for their community. We will be looking to unify and not standard uniformity.

Thursday, February 4, 2021
5:30-6:30 p.m. ET

Register here

Hearing Back from Communities

To provide best practices on how to promote health education and achieve health equity, the American Lung Association collaborated with the Center for Black Health and Equity to develop a vaccine toolkit for use with volunteers, national partners, community partners, etc. This webcast will focus on hearing back from the communities and how they defined the needs of their community. It will serve as a listening session that should help other communities see a unique expansion of their thought patterns. The idea is that we have been prejudiced by our local social constructs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
5:30-6:30 p.m. ET

Register here
Email to feature news in your region!
Health Promotion Resources

Resource Hub for Effective Tobacco Cessation Coverage and Health Systems Change - Key resources, webcasts, and toolkits to help states and the tobacco control community improve tobacco cessation coverage and integration into health systems

E-Cigarettes: Talk to Youth About the Risks - CDC data, guidance and resources to help parents, teachers, and health care providers talk to youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes

Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU) - Statewide movement to help youth, ages 12 to 18, stay tobacco-free

Ask, Advise, Refer to Quit Don’t Switch - One-hour tobacco brief intervention training for healthcare professionals
Quick Links