Monday, December 31, 2007

Know someone who is resolving to quit smoking?

Are you or your friends resolving to quit smoking in 2008? If so, get started on the right foot by visiting or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Calling is free and easy and the QuitLine is known for its great results!
Beginning tomorrow, the Wisconsin Tobacco QuitLine (1-800-QUIT-NOW) will make available free stop-smoking medication to all state residents who call and participate in coaching. Callers can choose from nicotine gum, lozenges or patches in two-week starter kits.

Monday, December 24, 2007

My Wish List

Liz's Christmas List:
1. A smoke-free Wisconsin
2. The Office Season 3
3. Blowdryer (preferably one that looks like a laser gun)
4. Dansko shoes (black)
5. Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition
6. Y membership
7. A smoke-free Wisconsin!!!

Readers: Happy Holidays and don't forget to ask Santa (or your legislators) for a smoke-free Wisconsin!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Milwaukee County Board Approves 30 ft. Smoke-free Radius!

Yesterday, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors took a big step in protecting the health of Wisconsinites. They voted 16-3 to strengthen the county's smoke-free policy. The changes eliminate smoking rooms at the Milwaukee County Courthouse and stop people from smoking within 30 feet of all entrances and exits to county buildings. More than that, the change includes General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee's International Airport! This policy change not only protects county employees and Milwaukee County citizens who use the courthouse and other county building from the dangers of secondhand smoke, but also, it shelters all travelers through Wisconsin's largest airport from breathing in dangerous air.

County Executive Scott Walker, who proposed these changes, signed them into law this morning, and they will take effect immediately! That means those of us traveling in and out of Mitchell this holiday season will reap the benefits.

For more information on the policy change or to see how each supervisor voted, click here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thinking about Quitting Smoking? The Quitline

With the holidays rapidly approaching and the New Year just around the corner we are all starting to think about our resolutions for the upcoming year. On January 1, 2008 Wisconsin's cigarette tax will increase by $1 and it is a great time for smokers to begin the process of quitting smoking. Since 2001 the Quit Line has served as a great resource for smokers who are trying to quit and today they announced an expansion of services that will help more people be smoke-free in 2008.

At a news conference in Milwaukee today, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services and the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) announced an expansion of quit line services for Wisconsin tobacco users who want to quit. This includes free medication for those who participate in quit line coaching, and a new interactive Web coaching service that provides personal tracking tools and discussion forums for those trying to quit. For more information on the Quit Line click here

The Quit Line offers a variety of services, including:

  • Free telephone coaching for Wisconsin tobacco users who want to quit, including:
o A 20-40 minute initial assessment of each caller ready to make a quit attempt.
o Advice on how to quit, based on extensive scientific research.
o An option to have a Quit Line coach follow up with return calls.
  • A starter kit that includes free medications and self-help materials.
  • A new “Web Coach” feature that allows callers to interact with Quit-Line coaches and peers online.
  • Referrals to local tobacco-treatment programs and services.
  • Information for friends, family and others concerned about a tobacco user.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WI: barely in the top half

In a report on state funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Wisconsin managed to eke out a spot in the top half of the states - but just barely. We were awarded 22nd place based on the old CDC funding guidelines.

You can view the full Wisconsin report here:

The new CDC funding guidelines paint an even bleaker picture. Wisconsin's recommended funding jumped from $31 million to $64 million this year. That means our program will be funded at only 23% of the recommended amount (rather than the almost 50% by using the old number).

We made progress this budget cycle by increasing our funding to $15 million/yr., but there's a long way to go before we're adequately addressing the problem of tobacco in Wisconsin.

Rather than summarize the whole report, I thought I'd highlight just one piece and ask you what you think. Please leave a comment!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Feeling the squeeze from our neighbors

Minnesota is smoke-free. Illinois will be smoke-free January 1, 2008. On Wednesday, December 5 the Michigan House moved one step closer to the state becoming smoke-free by passing a smoke-free bill that covers bars and restaurants. Wisconsin continues to drag its feet on this important issue and I am beginning to wonder exactly who our elected officials are representing on this matter. Wisconsinites want a healthy state. Wisconsinites want a level playing field for all bars and restaurants. Wisconsinites are used to being leaders in the Midwest. Wisconsin should be a great place to visit and a great place to raise a family, but the longer we wait to pass a smoke-free air bill the more detrimental it is to our positive image. If the Michigan House can pass a smoke-free bill, what are we waiting for? It's time for our lawmakers to represent the people of Wisconsin and vote for SB 150.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Doyle's 2007 to-do list: smoke-free air for all!

At a press conference this morning, Gov. Doyle called on the legislature to take action on SB 150, the Breathe Free Wisconsin Act, while they are in session next week. This will be the legislature's last chance to act on the smoke-free bill before the end of the year.

Doyle said there's nothing complicated about the smoke-free bill and stated "every lawmaker should be forced to make a choice. Do they side with the... big tobacco companies who want us to... become the ashtray of the Midwest? Or will they do what's right for the hard working families of this state?"

You can listen to Bob Hague's (Wisconsin Radio Network) report, complete with Doyle audio, here.