Monday, November 30, 2009

Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

The Legislative Reference Bureau released their Q & A Document about the smoke-free air law tonight via Twitter.

Also available is the Legislative Brief about the smoke-free air law.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

This week will be a short week on blog posts. SmokeFree Wisconsin in closed on Thursday and Friday of this week to observe the Thanksgiving  Holiday. We did want to share our many thanks to all those who have taken action this year to make Wisconsin a healthier place to live. 

Dear Blog Readers,

The season is upon us where we give thanks for all the things that have made 2009 great. This has been an exciting year in tobacco control advocacy. In 2009 alone we accomplished so much, including:
  • Raising the cigarette tax by $1.00
  • Having over 300 people testify at the Joint Committee on Finance Hearings
  • Winning smoke-free air for the Cities of Verona and Weston
  • Making smoke-free air a reality in rural Dane County, Monona, Middleton, Verona,  Fond du Lac, and Shorewood
  • Winning smoke-free air for the entire state of Wisconsin for July 5th, 2010
Needless to say this has been a big year, filled with a lot of winning!
We simply could not have done this work without all of you- our online network of tobacco control activists.
We just wanted to write to say thank you. Thank you for every email, every phone call, and every time you opened an alert from us and took action. Together we have accomplished so much. We have prevented Wisconsin kids from ever starting to smoke, helped more smokers find their way to quit successfully, and protected more workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
However-- none of this could have been possible without you, your actions, and your help.
Thank you for all you have done to make Wisconsin a healthier place to live. Thank you for saving lives. You have given us at SmokeFree Wisconsin so very much to be thankful for.
In Deep Gratitude,

SmokeFree Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nice Editorial in the Green Bay Press Gazette

The Green Bay Press Gazette got it right when they wrote the following editorial:

The statistics are encouraging: The number of Wisconsin stores caught selling tobacco to minors in an annual random screening dropped from 7.2 percent in 2008 to 5.7 percent this year.
It's the latest success story in a state tobacco control effort that has also seen a 36 percent drop in the number of high-school-age smokers and a 73 percent drop in middle-school smoking, according to SmokeFreeWisconsin.
So why did the state cut these effective antismoking programs, which also include cessation programs?
Educating young people about the dangers of smoking is an ongoing effort. That's why it remains baffling that the state Legislature cut tobacco control programs by 55 percent last summer, even while raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes another 75 cents.
Lawmakers must understand that money raised for a specific purpose has to be applied for that purpose. These are dollars raised, in part, to protect our kids' health, not a big pot of money to be spent as politicians please.

It is still unclear why editorial boards seem to recognize the importance of program funding but the legislature does not! 

Big Tobacco Circumventing New Federal Tobacco Tax Laws

A recent Associated Press Article highlights the dubious tactics of Big Tobacco when it comes to the new federal tobacco taxes. By changing the marketing Big Tobacco has been avoiding paying hundreds of millions of dollars in tobacco taxes annually. The Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) has quite a bit to lose becuase of Big Tobacco's dirty tricks. When taxes saw a significant jump on the roll-your-own variety of tobacco, BIg Tobacco made a quick switch. Roll-your-own varieties were replaces with the less-taxed, less-restricted pipe tobacco variety. Pipe tobacco is typically coarser and moister. However, that is an industry standard, not a legal one. The distinction that the federal government makes is exclusively in the labeling of the products. Retailers simply redirected their customers to the new pipe tobacco which would be cheaper and comparable.

What is the difference?

One is pipe tobacco (to the left), the other roll your own tobacco (to the right). The bigger difference comes in the way that they are taxed. Roll-your-own tobacco is taxed at $24.78 per pound whereas pipe tobacco is taxed at $2.8311 at the federal level. Clearly there needs to be some changes made to this taxation system at the federal level. To learn more about federal taxes on tobacco products see this chart.  Leave it to Big Tobacco to find a way to circumvent nearly every public health law.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sen Kohl leading the way to end tobacco trafficking

According to a recent constituent e-newsletter Sen. Kohl is leading the way in Congress to put an end to cigarette trafficking. Cigarette trafficking is a recent issue emerging in the last few years. As his e-newsletter indicates,
Cigarette trafficking has become a highly profitable revenue source for criminal and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, al Qaeda and Hamas.  Money is often raised in the United States, then funneled back to these international terrorist groups.  Cigarette smuggling is a multibillion dollar phenomenon and getting worse.  To counter this trend, I [Sen. Kohl] introduced the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act of 2009 which recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It provides law enforcement essential resources to crack down on black market tobacco ventures.

The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act will:

  1. Strengthen reporting requirements for interstate cigarette sellers.
  2. Increase the criminal penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony and create a substantial civil penalty for violations, including violations of the reporting requirements and state tobacco tax laws.
  3. Grant federal and state law enforcement officials more power to investigate and prosecute violators.
  4. Prohibit the United States Postal Service from delivering tobacco products
Does this seem like a common sense solution to a BIG problem?
Above is a link to Sen. Feingold's contact page-- ask him to support this common sense solution. 

To get the full history of cigarette trafficking check out this factsheet.
For more details about internet sales of tobacco check out this special report.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Emerging Issue: Hookahs

Two Smoking Hookahs by Studio DC
A report from Cairo indicated some of the challenges they are facing as they implement a smoke-free air law.
There is a worldwide trend away from commercial tobacco use, even in countries with a history of traditional tobacco use, like Egypt. In October the city of Cairo banned the sale of shisha, or water pipe (pictured above). Shisha, hookah, water pipe are all names for similar devices. (More details on the pipe)

In 2007, a smoke-free workplaces law was supported by Parliament. However the law lacked clear direction on enforcement and has not been effectively enforced. Egypt like many developing countries struggle with tobacco use. The cultural norms around smoking have not shifted yet in Egypt and other parts of developing nations. 

The health effects of hookah or shisha smoking are not well known. A few quick facts from the CDC show that hookahs are extremely dangerous. 
  • The charcoal used to heat tobacco in the hookah increases the health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Even after it has passed through water, the smoke produced by a hookah contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Hookah tobacco and smoke contain numerous toxic substances known to cause lung,bladder, and oral cancers.
  • Hookah tobacco and smoke contain numerous toxic substances known to cause clogged arteries and heart disease.
  • Sharing a hookah may increase the risk of transmitting tuberculosis, viruses such as herpesor hepatitis, and other illnesses.
  • Secondhand smoke from hookahs poses a serious risk for nonsmokers, particularly because it contains smoke from the tobacco and smoke from the heat source (e.g., charcoal) used in the hookah.
      For full details about the health effects of hookah smoking visit CDC's website

      Wisconsin has dealt with its own issues about hookah smoking. Most recently in the debate about the statewide smoke-free air law, the issue of a hookah exemption was raised. The amendment did not garner the votes to pass either house. Dane County also considered an amendment during the process of making the unincorporated parts of the County smoke-free last year in August. The amendment did not pass the county board either. As we move towards a smoke-free future in this state, hookah smoking will only be permitted outside, like all other smoking. The only exceptions being if an establishment fits the criteria to be a tobacco bar or a tobacco retailer. These exemptions are not intended for hookah lounges necessarily, but are written in such a way that an establishment might be able to squeeze into the definition. For more details or questions about that don't hesitate to contact SmokeFree Wisconsin.

      Thursday, November 19, 2009

      ACS: American Cancer Society Marks 34th Great American Smokeout® Reminds public of need for state tobacco control and cessation programs

      Released today to honor the Great American Smokeout:

      Madison, Wis.—November 19, 2009 The American Cancer Society marks the 34th Great American Smokeout® on November 19th by encouraging smokers to quit and reminding the public of the importance of tobacco control and cessation programs. Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways a person can reduce their risk of cancer, but quitting smoking isn’t easy and getting help can be difficult.

      This year Wisconsin’s tobacco control and prevention program was cut by 55 percent.  While cuts were expected during these difficult economic times, the programs affected, including the tobacco QuitLine, have proven successful at reducing tobacco use in Wisconsin.

      Since the program started in 2001 smoking rates in Wisconsin have substantially declined. Last year the adult smoking rate hit an all time low of 19 percent, which is below the national average. However, these gains won’t continue indefinitely.

      “Reducing Wisconsin’s tobacco burden requires ongoing education and continued resources to help people quit smoking,” said Bob Meyer, Wisconsin Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society. “We understand that Wisconsin is facing unprecedented fiscal challenges, but these programs save money and save lives. In the big picture, there are just as many financial reasons as there are health reasons to maintain a strong tobacco cessation and control program,” said Meyer.

      Each year more than 8,000 people in Wisconsin die of tobacco-related illness and the state spends more than $2.2 billion dollars in health care dollars treating such illness; $500 million of which comes straight from taxpayers in the form of Medicaid payments.

      Funding for the tobacco control program was reduced to just under $7 million this budget. The Centers for Disease Control recommends Wisconsin spend $64 million a year to adequately combat tobacco use in the state.

      Gov. Doyle: Cigarette sales to minors decreased!

      Photo credit: Wispolitics

      Earlier this week Governor Jim Doyle announced a significant decrease in tobacco sales to Wisconsin minors.
      Wisconsin is making huge strides to reducing the amount of tobacco our young people get their hands on. Our 2009 Synar sales compliance survey, which determines the number of retail outlets that are selling tobacco illegally to minors, shows a noncompliance rate of 5.7 percent—20 percent lower than the 2008 rate of 7.2 percent.This is great news for Wisconsin citizens.

      “In Wisconsin, we are working hard to protect our kids from the scourge of tobacco,” Governor Doyle said. “Our state has a long history of preventing youth tobacco sales and I’m pleased our 
      For more information about the Synar report and tobacco control efforts in Wisconsin, please visit

      Wednesday, November 18, 2009

      Big Tobacco Getting Bigger Reynolds in talks to buy Sweden's Niconovum

      Annouced on November 8th, 2009, Tobacco Giant R.J. Reynolds in talks to buy Sweden's Niconovum. That's right R.J. Reynolds is trying to buy the Swedish-maker of a product that helps stop people who smoke. Niconovum's own website says their mission is to develop leading nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). They were formed in 2000 by experts in tobacco control and health. Currently they market a spray, gum, and pouch. 


      While Niconovum's mission is completely and totally opposed to what R.J. Reynolds is trying accomplish, the only conclusion that can be drawn is Big Tobacco has something up their sleeve. Perhaps like Snus, Camel aka R.J. Reynolds is planning on making the spray or pouch that Niconovum markets and turn it into another harmful "reduced harm" product.

      Tuesday, November 17, 2009

      New Study: Smoker sensitivity to retail tobacco displays and quitting.

      A new study was released by researchers in Australia about retail tobacco displays and the ease smokers have in quitting. The study assessed whether or not point of sale cigarette displays influence quitting. They found that the presence of cigarette pack displays make it more difficult for smokers to quit and be 100% successful.

      Big Tobacco opposes display bans and has created a website addressing their concerns about this tobacco control policy. The website is loaded with faux studies which point to increased illicit trade of cigarettes as a result of display bans. Ironically, one study was conducted prior to the display ban even going into effect. Their website does not that four countries including Australia, Ireland, Iceland, and Canada have enacted complete prohibitions on displays at the point of sale.

      The website claims that these bans are ineffective but then they claim it puts retailers out of business. One has to wonder, is that because people quit more effectively when they are not constantly being marketed a product they are trying desperately to quit? On one hand they claim their are ineffective, but on the other say retailers are going out of business. The answer is clear- they are effective- too effective for Big Tobacco to let this go on. To read this and more tobacco industry fueled junk science go to the Big Tobacco supported site

      Monday, November 16, 2009

      Federal Judge Rejects Tobacco Companies’ Effort to Block Key Provisions of New Tobacco Regulation Law

      On November 5th, 2009 there was a victory for public health's continued fight with Big Tobacco. A federal judge in Kentucky rejected a motion by tobacco companies trying to block provisions of the FDA legislation. The decision strongly support the authority of the Federal Government to prevent the industry from making health claims about its products without approval from the FDA. 

      Judge McKinley forcefully backed the government’s interest in protecting consumers from misleading claims about tobacco products with supposedly reduced health risks. The judge agreed with the key argument that  “given the significant health risks associated with the use of tobacco products and the history of marketing ‘low tar’ and ‘light’ cigarettes,” the government  “has a substantial interest in protecting consumers from misleading tobacco industry claims about allegedly reduced risk tobacco products.”

      Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association among others released the following statement about this land mark decision. 

      We applaud the federal court’s decision to quickly and decisively reject the latest attempt by Big Tobacco to frustrate the intent of the new FDA law and allow the agency to get on with its role in putting an end to deceptive and dangerous tobacco marketing.

      Friday, November 13, 2009

      Graphic Warnings

      These are images taken of graphic warnings on cigarette packs from Mauritius. These packs show the type of death and disease that cigarette smoking can cause. If the US had these types of warnings how many lives would be saved?

      With the passage of FDA Regulation of Tobacco, hopefully someday we too will have the types of warnings that will make people stop in their tracks and think about the risk they are taking with their health.

      Thursday, November 12, 2009

      PA: Lobbyists trying to buy their way out of increased tobacco taxes.

      Information obtained from expense reports from tobacco companies, natural gas drillers, and gambling interests show that they have spent more than $4.5 million combined. While the gambling interests were attempting to open the door to new table games. Big Tobacco and natural-gas drillers were trying to protect their bottom line. While it is unclear to what extent these types of huge pay-offs to legislators effect policy- why would a company spend the money if it wasn't going to place them in a better place at the bargaining table? Legislators are trying to tax cigars and spit tobacco products, in part to fill a budget hole. Reynolds America, Inc. and its subsidiary Conwood Co. spend nearly $670,658 to block an increase in spit tobacco taxes and a new tax on smaller cigars, cigarillos. In total Big Tobacco spent nearly $1.5 million on lobbying from January to September. 

      While most states have some transparency laws which allow citizens access to campaign finance information, Wisconsin is far from perfect in terms of providing completely open and detailed receipts from lobbyists. Big Tobacco often uses front groups to lobby on their behalf further making it difficult to track the money that comes from Big Tobacco to individual legislators. 

      However much can be learned from investigating where legislators get their money. To look up your Wisconsin Legislator click here to examine the campaign finance information. 

      Wednesday, November 11, 2009

      New Study: Exploring race, menthol smoking, and cessation.

      Before discussing the new study we will provide a little background on menthol, particularly in African American communities. As recent at 2005, it has been reported that nearly 75% of African American smokers use menthols (compared to 30% of white smokers). This is no coincidence- the tobacco industry manipulated the marketing of menthol cigarettes throughout the sixties and seventies. It has been well documented through industry documents that the Brand Kool was changed to appeal to a segregated, urban population of African Americans (See abstract of study) . Kool was viewed as new, hip, and healthy.This industry manipulation has lead to a disproportionately high incidence of tobacco-related death and disease within African American communities. It has been shown that targeted marketing is highly effective. With this background let's examine the study.

      Drs. Gunderson, Delnevo, and Wackowski released a study that examined the issue of menthol, race, and cessation.Utilizing data from the 2005 US National Health Interview Survey they found a few key points:

      • African American/Black  and Lation menthol smokers were less likely to have quit smoking 
      • Supports the idea that menthol smoking can decrease success of cessation efforts, but only for Black and Latino menthol smokers. 
      Want to know more? The tbest factsheet that clearly outlines the issue of tobacco disparities related to African Americans can be found at Tobacco-Free Kids. The best factshet that shows how the tobacco industry has unjustly manipulated the African American market is here

      Nationally there is the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, which is fighting back against unjust targeting of communities of color. In Wisconsin we have a statewide network that is working reduce the burden of tobacco within African American communities. 

      Tuesday, November 10, 2009

      USA Today: Our opinion on public health: E-cigarettes pose risks

      USA Today has picked up the e-cig issue. It seems everyone is talking about e-cigs these days. The question they ask, and that public health and tobacco control is asking is clear; is this stuff safe? Is it reasonable to deduce that because the product doesn't contain "tobacco" it is safe?  

      Nobody knows and that is a problem. 

      Manufacturer's of these products don't have the research to back up their claims. The USA Today editorial makes a few important points outlines below:
      While both sides await a federal judge's ruling, e-cigarettes are on the market (kits with the e-cigarette and nicotine cartridges generally sell for $70 to $150). And contrary to the old adage, what you don't know can hurt you. Among the reasons to be wary:
      — Most e-cigarettes are made in China, the source of lead-tainted toys and melamine-laced dog food. Need we say more about the need for oversight?
      — When the FDA randomly tested the nicotine cartridges, it discovered carcinogens and a toxic chemical found in anti-freeze. Still, the most worrisome ingredient is nicotine itself. The FDA strictly regulates it in patches, gum and other smoking-cessation products, and it has banned nicotine lollipops and water. E-cigarettes deserve to be treated like other nicotine-delivery devices.
      — E-cigarettes come in flavors — from traditional menthol to chocolate and strawberry — that might lure curious youngsters and prompt them to move on to the real thing. Distributors say their product is for adults only, but who's to stop young people from buying it? Only a few locales have banned sales to minors.
      — Despite protests from the Electronic Cigarette Association that its members don't make claims about helping smokers quit, plenty of sellers make far more outrageous health claims. In recent weeks, one marketer claimed e-cigarettes reduce the risk of heart disease and touted an endorsement by a physician-and-nurses group. Another website, which says it reviews e-cigarettes, went them one better: It claims, based on a 1942 study, that an ingredient in e-cigarettes could prevent flu and other respiratory diseases.
      The most important point that article makes is this, "All the public has to go on now is the word of the product's marketers. Before consumers inhale something that gives them "vapes" of highly addictive nicotine, they might want an independent authority testing the product to see what's in it." If the e-cig makers are anything like their Big Tobacco counterparts, truth in advertising is bent at the expensive of health and in the favor of profits. 

      Monday, November 9, 2009

      FDA: moving into a new era in tobacco control research

      Dr. Cathy L. Backinger of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)- Tobacco Control Research Branch wrote an important release about tobacco control research. She outlines some of the important areas that the FDA will regulate including candy flavored cigarettes and mild and light labels. She also highlights some important funded research initiatives: improving effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions among low-income adults and preventing and reducing smokeless tobacco use. In 2010 continued efforts to expand our knowledge through an ever expanding body of research about tobacco and how to help people quit. NCI intends to move into funding research that examines state and community tobacco control and exploring media  relations. 

      Continued research that helps to improve the effectiveness of tobacco control is extremely important. Any new studies that are released will ultimately help Wisconsin better address the number one cause of preventable death and disease in our state. Wisconsin citizens are not as educated about new product innovations, like Camel Snus, as they are about the hazards of smoking. As the FDA's new regulation over tobacco continues, improved research will emerge. The overall effectiveness of Wisconsin's tobacco control efforts will improve and more research is released.  

      Friday, November 6, 2009

      Racine: Glad you asked

      Recently The Journal Times of Racine published a question about fire safe cigarettes.

      "What chemical are they putting in the fire-safe cigarettes to make them go out? Maybe it'll kill smokers faster than the tobacco does."

      The answer is, "It would help if tobacco companies fully disclosed their ingredients, said Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of the nonprofit SmokeFree Wisconsin. Still, enough is known that thin bands of extra paper cause them to burn out, not a chemical.

      Mike Moore adds, "Advocates for laws requiring businesses to sell only the fire-safe kind - Wisconsin's law took effect last month - point to a Harvard University study. Researchers found that five of 19 toxic compounds were found in higher levels in fire-safe cigarettes, but the report states nothing suggests "these increases affect the already highly toxic nature of cigarette smoke."

      I don't speak Scientist, but I think the translation is "If you don't want to die, don't smoke."

      Thursday, November 5, 2009

      November is lung cancer awareness month

      Please join us in honoring lung cancer awareness month this Novemeber. It is estimated that there will be 3,960 new lung cancer case diagnosed this year (American Cancer Society, 2009). It is also estimated that nearly 3,000 people will die in Wisconsin alone from lung cancer. 

      Especially for those who work in tobacco control this is a time to reflect on the important work that we do. Many organizations, like the American Cancer Society, the UW Carbone Cancer Center, and others will take time this month to celebrate the voices of lung cancer survivors. For example, later this month UW-Carbone Cancer Center will be hosting an event on November 12th in Middleton. For details click here. 

      Lung cancer kills far too many people each year. We know that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer with secondhand smoke exposure being associated with increased risk. Nearly 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are linked back to tobacco use.

      To raise awareness the Lung Cancer Alliance created a really cool video to view it, how it was made and more CLICK HERE.

      Wednesday, November 4, 2009

      UW-CTRI: Combining cessation medications best for successfully quitting.

      Earlier this week UW-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) released a new study about the effectiveness of common quit-smoking strategies . The study compared a variety of nicotine replacement therapies such as lozenges, the patch, buproprion (brand name Wellbutrin). They also examined combinations such as  the patch and the lozenge or buproprion and the lozenge. They also measured effectiveness of a placebo. They did not examine varenicline (brand name Chantix) the nasal spray, gum, or other methods.

      This study found that combining over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement patches and nicotine replacement lozenges lead to more successful attempts to quit. Using any one of the methods was more effective than trying to quit with the placebo, the equivalent to cold turkey. This study is important in a number of ways. Most notably and especially timely is that many people who smoke do not have healthcare or have limited access to their doctor. People who make the choice to quit can take the money that would have gone to purchasing tobacco and pick up OTC smoking cessation methods.

      While it is important to talk to a physician whenever making decisions about your health, for those who lack access to medical providers, there is some hope.


      Tuesday, November 3, 2009

      Big Tobacco whines to President Obama about Canada

      Its hard to be sympathetic to Big Tobacco, but that is exactly what they want- sympathy. Specifically, they want President Obama to challenge the Canadian ban on candy flavored cigarettes and small cigars. The argument is that Canada's ban on candy flavored tobacco violates WTO (World Trade Organization) obligations.  What Big Tobacco fails to mention is that their interference in this matter violates the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). While the US is not signed on, as of yet, Canada is. The FCTC states that the tobacco industry must not interfere with the setting of health policy. Attempting to frame this as a trade issue misses the point entirely. Canada set forth this policy as part of their health agenda and while the ban restricts imports, the overall goal is to improve the health of the citizens of Canada. 

      They are trying to capitalize on a down economy and say that they provide jobs for growers of tobacco in the US. They have gone so far as to enlist a senator from a tobacco state to block the nomination of the deputy US Trade Representative. 

      This issue raises some important questions: 

      1. While there might be jobs in growing tobacco, are these jobs that contribute to the health and well-being of the population? 
      2. Would farmers in tobacco states be best served by growing vegetables for the communities, instead of tobacco?

      Monday, November 2, 2009

      New York City: No more flavored tobacco products

      New York is leading the way on prohibiting Tobacco Products like spit tobacco and flavored cigars

      On Wednesday October 28th the Mayor of the City of New York signed an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of most forms of flavored tobacco products. This comes after the FDA prohibited the sale of flavored cigarettes late last month. The City Council approved restricting the sales of many flavors such as chocolate, honey, cherry, grape, or spice flavors but did not address menthol, mint, or evergreen.
      This legislation is an important step forward for public health. Data shows that the sale of little cigars, like the Captain Black cherry variety shown to the right has increased by 240% between 1997-2007. Little cigars are sold in singles or packs of twenty for very low prices compared to a pack of cigarettes.

      During that same time cigarillo sales increased by almost 150%. Cigarillos are smaller cigars, sold as singles or packs of five like what is shown to the left. This particular product is sour apple flavor. Again a pack of Phillies or Swisher Sweets are $1 for a single and $3-4 per 5-pack. Of note is the fact that larger cigars shown below actually DECREASED in sales by 6%. These are not usually sold in flavors, but are typically pretty expensive costing $10 or more dollars per cigar. These are not sold in gas stations like some of the other products discussed earlier.

      The other product affected by this legislation is flavored chew, like the peach Skoal seen below. Skoal, Wolf, and other spit tobacco products are sold in single cans, sometimes in pre-measured pouches, or sometimes loose leaf or long-cut varieties. They are also sold in five packs. These sell in the range of $3-4 a can and a 5 pack is under $20.

      This legislation will open the door for other communities to move forward.
      The penalties for violators of the new city law may be fined up to $2,000 or have their tobacco-vending license suspended.These are pretty significant charges and hardly worth the sale of these products. Will Wisconsin be next to address this gap in the FDA legislation?

      What can you do?

      • Get out there and look at these products! 
        • If you have not educated yourself on these products please do so. It is very enlightening to see the little cigars, cigarillos, and candy flavored spit tobacco. This is a new way Big Tobacco works around increased cigarette taxes and the lack of social acceptability of cigarette smoking.
      • Let your elected officials know these products are out there and are dangerous.  
        • Elected officials need to know that the work of tobacco control is not done yet in Wisconsin. Big Tobacco is far from gone and we have a long way to go to reduce our burden of tobacco. 

      For more information:

      Best resource on Cigars, Cigarillos, and Little Cigars

      Full post from the NY Times

      Wausau Daily Herald: Anti-smoking advocates dismayed by state cuts on heels of tax hike

      The Wausau Daily Herald got it right this time. Tobacco Prevention and Control Advocates are extremely dismayed by the significant cuts in tobacco control dollars especially while the cigarette tax was increased in the last budget. For smokers who are ready to quit- the Wisconsin Quit Line is not going to have the capacity to offer the type of service they have offered in the past. The Tobacco Prevention and Control program will not be out educating folks about the dangers of tobacco and the deceptive practices of corporate tobacco.

      To read the article click here