PRESIDENTIAL SESSION: AHA takes strong stand against vaping

Scientific Sessions Presidential Session concluded with a look back at the AHA’s many successes over the past year and a standing ovation for one determined, young woman working to end the teen vaping epidemic.

Nancy Brown

AHA CEO Nancy Brown called 16-year-old Katelyn Quezada of Los Angeles to the stage, along with an army of Quezada’s supportive peers. The group, partnering with the AHA, released an open letter on Sunday denouncing the dangers of vaping.

Announcing that this movement “begins in Philadelphia today,” Brown called out the tobacco industry for its irreparable damage to our youth and anyone who vapes.

“This is for anyone who has had enough of the tobacco industry taking advantage of teens,” Brown said.

The effort parallels the AHA’s recent announcement to commit $20 million to fund new nicotine research over the next two years, strengthen laws and policies nationwide and expose the e-cigarette industry’s lies.

Brown underscored the AHA’s many other initiatives, including Research Goes Red to support the work of more female researchers and a related effort to commission a study on weight among underrepresented millennial women.

Brown also highlighted a $15 million research commitment to reduce outcomes for cancer survivors at higher risk of cardiovascular events.

Finally, Brown announced the AHA’s new Structural Heart Disease initiative. The partnership with Edwards Lifesciences seeks to make a significant impact on the more than 11 million patients living with heart valve disease. In particular, the effort aims to improve the identification and treatment of aortic stenosis, the leading risk factor for heart failure.

The initiative is expected to raise patient awareness, increase diagnosis, improve clinical pathways and processes to impact patient outcomes and increase compliance rates for the medical management of structural heart disease patients at discharge and beyond.