Friday, June 8, 2007

Rep. Pocan gets it

Rep. Mark Pocan deserves a big thank you. He was the only democrat to do the right thing and vote against Sen. Decker's motion to cut one third of the proposed funding from the tobacco control program.

The motion, which passed with the rest of the democrats and Reps. Suder and Vos voting yes, would put Wisconsin at slightly less than two thirds of the CDC recommended minimum for tobacco control.

A best practice tobacco control program is a big picture program. It includes prevention programs to keep young people from starting to smoke, but it also provides cessation services like WI's Tobacco Quitline and the First Breath Program (for pregnant women) to help smokers quit. A well funded tobacco control program also includes a component to identify disparities related to tobacco use and its effects among different population groups, whether divided among race, gender, or income lines. You can read more about what the CDC recommends here.

If your legislator voted for these cuts, please ask him or her which third of the tobacco control program he or she is willing to cut - prevention, cessation, population-specific counter marketing...?

Every year Big Tobacco spends $247 million marketing its deadly products in Wisconsin. We're asking for $30 million to fight it. But on a 9-7 vote we were given just 8% of what Big Tobacco spends here each year to try to protect our kids and improve the health of all Wisconsinites.

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