Friday, October 30, 2009

L. A. smoke-free outdoor dining

Earlier this week the L.A. Times reported that some city council members are supportive of a smoke-free outdoor dining ordinance. The city has already worked to remove secondhand smoke from parks, farmer's markets, and city beaches. The new ordinance would prohibit smoking within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas and 40 feet from food carts, food kiosks, and the like. The City Council champions are Greig Smith and Dennis Zine. 
Per the usual in debates about smoke-free workplaces, a Big Tobacco sponsored organization is fighting the regulations. The policy could go to the full city council as early as next month. 

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, we are not allowed to take action on the local level to make our outdoor dining areas smoke-free. Big Tobacco used a front group to ensure that patrons and workers will not have the right to be protected from secondhand smoke. Hopefully in the future, the restrictions at the state-level can be repealed and local city councils, village boards, and county supervisors  will take up the issue of smoke-free outdoor dining. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interference: ICD-9 Project Big Tobacco's strategy to prevent attributing illnes to secondhand smoke

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in its 9th revision is a code book for every ailment, treatment, procedure, and cause. Back in 1994 Big Tobacco, specifically Phillip Morris, planned a project (with $2 million financial backing) to prevent secondhand smoke (SHS) from being included in ICD-9. The ICD has three types of codes: diagnosis, treatment, and e-code or causal code. If the causal classification of SHS was included it would mean death and disease caused by SHS would be directly attributable to Big Tobacco. It would make it much easier to determine the direct costs of secondhand smoke on the government. Naturally, Big Tobacco was going to fight this, interference style (pictured left).

Their plan to fight this inclusion of a causal classification code would mean that even if a doctor knew a particular ailment was caused by SHS, it would be impossible to record the causal code. A review of tobacco industry documents  shows that Big Tobacco used a fake lobbying group, Multinational Business Services, Inc.(MBS), to avoid any causal link being made to secondhand smoke exposure. On behalf of Phillip Morris, MBS submitted documents questioning the science behind secondhand smoke.

This was in 1994! 
The science was clear then and the science is clear now.

The industry also argued that the costs associated with the inclusion of this code would be huge for both the public and private sectors. One doesn't need scientific proof to know that Phillip Morris would be made vulnerable to additional law suits, workers compensation claims due to workplace exposure, and so forth if this code was included. Moreover the financial toll of death and disease from direct and indirect inhalation of tobacco smoke is already costing us millions of dollars every year, regardless of a classification code. Perhaps pushing paper is more important to Phillip Morris then they would like to admit.

A 2005 article from Health Affairs says, "The tobacco industry has thus far undermined the collection of data on secondhand smoke’s relationship to illness.These findings exemplify the use of politics to influence science. The medical and public health communities need to be made aware of these different codes and the potential for tobacco industry interests to undermine their use."

For Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the nation, this means that even though we know secondhand smoke is dangerous and causes disease, tobacco industry interference has prevented us from gathering accurate data. The question remains, what would tobacco control look like, if there was no tobacco industry interference? What would Wisconsin's tobacco control efforts look like if Phillip Morris did not employ front groups to block and stall a comprehensive statewide smoke-free air law?

The most infuriating tobacco industry document related to this issue. The full journal article is available here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Emerging Issue: Smoke-Free Casinos

This post is the first in a series of posts related to the emerging issue of smoke-free casinos and gaming venues. We will be featuring a guest blogger who is working on smoke-free casino efforts. We will also be featuring recent articles, reports, studies, and other relevant information. 

Earlier this year an important report was released that will ultimately open the door to smoke-free casinos. While it has been well documented that secondhand smoke (SHS) it is a health hazard; research and air quality monitoring specific to casinos had yet to be released. All that changed when the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Report was issued. 

This is what the study did:

  • talked to casino dealers about their symptoms resulting from exposure to SHS
  • collect urine samples to determine if SHS was absorbed into the bodies of dealers
  • conducted general health questionnaires
  • measured exposure to SHS with air quality and personal measures
What they found:

  • dealers reported having symptoms related to SHS
  • SHS was present in the air
  • found SHS components within urine*
*specifically they found NNAL, a known lung cancer causing agent

The conclusions of the report are to make casinos smoke-free, promote cessation, and ensure ventilation systems are working. We know ventilation is not enough. We also know quitting is not enough. The only way to ensure casino workers are receiving the same protections that many other workers are already enjoying is to make casinos smoke-free. 

What about Wisconsin?

  • Unfortunately, Wisconsin does not have smoke-free gaming
  • All of our casinos and gaming facilities are tribal operated
  • Given the sovereignty of tribal nations, it is up to the individual tribes to enact policy to ensure all workers are protected
What can I do? 

  • Join the movement for smoke-free gaming! 
  • Let the casinos and gaming establishments you frequent know- smoke-free is the way to be! 

The single best resource on smoke-free gaming- featuring people who have the facts about poker and smoke-free environments. There is also a great website on Smoke-free Gaming. If you are looking for what national leaders in the smoke-free movement (ANR) are talking about in terms of smoke-free gaming- we highly recommend visiting this site

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Study in progress: Barriers to Effective Tobacco-Dependence Treatment for the Very Poor

UW-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) is conducting a study focusing on Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods. Using zip codes to narrow the participant pool the findings of their research are astonishing. 

First, a little more about the area and survey participants.
Demographics for the area are as follows:

  • 52.3% female
  • 28 median age
  • 56.4% African American
  • 31.3% White
  • 7.8% Latino
  • $12,832 per capita income with 33% living below the federal poverty line
  • 56% have a high school diploma or less in terms of education
In more simple terms this is a relatively young population, primarily African American, and very poor. The intention of the study was to examine what prevents people in the neighborhood from accessing cessation services.

It was discovered that 42% of the population smokes, more than twice the state average of just under 20%.

Below are some of the findings:
  • participants who smoked thought that most other people smoke as well
  • 2/3 thought it was ok to smoke so long as it didn't affect others
  • 50%+ thought the medication used to quit smoking were more dangerous than continuing to smoke
  • 50%+ had not heard about the Wisconsin Quitline
  • 38% have never tried to quit
This study is still in progress so please check back for more information about reaching challenging populations. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Altria still raking in the profits despite recession and drop in sales

Behind that shiny corporate feel good logo is Phillip Morris- a company that has been deceiving the American public for far too long. Altria annouced that its profits rise another 1.7% in the third quarter despite high rates of unemployment, a deep recession, and lack of "consumer confidence." Altria is the parent company of Phillip Morris and markets death and disease under the names of Marlboro, Parliament, Virginia Slims, and Basic.

Big Tobacco reported that retailers reduced inventory and consumers slowed purchases due to the federal tax increase. In order to protect profits, Big Tobacco raised the price of its products in advance of the federal cigarette tax to ensure that more money was going into the pockets of these convicted racketeers.

Despite the annual decline in cigarette sales Phillip Morris and other members of Big Tobacco have been moving into the spit market as marked by Altria's purchase to buy U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (UST). UST is the maker of Skoal and Copenhagen. Altria is also the owner of Black and Mild Cigar Company. Not only do they sell cigarettes- they sell cigars, spit, and new products like Snus.

The purchase and marketing of spit tobacco and cigarettes is a movement by the industry to ensure they maintain a consumer base that is far too addicted to their many different products to quit one or all. To go one step further Big Tobacco is creating products that can be used anytime, anywhere. They even made Marlboro Snus, capitalizing on the branding of Marlboro and hopefully moving people into smokeless products. The public health impact of these new products are unknown. People are beginning to use a spit or smokeless product in certain settings and still smoke in the places where smoking is still allowed.

So, what does this mean for Wisconsin? The marketing of tobacco products is changing. In Wisconsin communities Big Tobacco is  promoting its new products, giving out free samples of new products, and ensuring it replaces the customer base it is losing to higher taxes, smoke-free laws, and most importantly, death and disease.

What can you do?
  • Become a Big Tobacco Slueth! 
  • Go inside gas stations/convenient stores and look at the new products- where are they located, what flavors are available, what does the packaging look like?
  • Ask clerks about the new products, ask questions like who buys them, what do they think of them?
  • Snap pictures of displays or advertising if possible
  • Post comments on the blog about your findings!
At my local convenient store- they have a huge banner for Camel Snus- SOLD COLD with promotional literature on how to use it and even a built-in promotional refrigerator. The clerk reports that sales are up. I could understand why, I am on the mailing list and have been receiving free coupons and buy one, get one coupons once a month for the last year.

Note: Altria is the parent company all the products shown above and responsible for thousands of cases of tobacco related death and disease. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent Study: Over the 30 million US workers are lighting up

A new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that nearly 33.5 million full-time employees ages 18 to 64 reported smoking in the past month. "The study provides important insight and updated information that can be used to assist in the developing or refining smoking-cessation efforts to specific workplace groups," said Eric Broderick, the acting administrator at SAMHSA.  "The workplace is an ideal location for programs to educate employees about the risks of smoking and programs to promote smoking cessation to reduce risks of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer." 

What is important to know: 

  • The top employment category is food-preparation and serving-related jobs (44.7% current smokers)
  • Next highest employment category smoking rate is construction workers and miners (42.9% current smokers)
  • The lowest employment categories were education, training, and library fields (12.3% reported smoking in the last month)
  • 18-25 year olds have the highest recent history of smoking (having smoked in the past month). 
  • Men smoked at higher rates than women. 

Click here to see the  Full report

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beloit Daily News: Anti-smoking funds cut

Just today Beloit Daily News is discussing the funding cuts to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program:
"lthough Wisconsin taxpayers are paying more for cigarettes, programs aimed at curbing smoking are getting cut.

State Rep. Kim Hixson, D-Whitewater, Rep. Chuck Benedict, D-Beloit, and Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, are co-sponsoring a bill moving through the legislature that would restore some of the funding to tobacco-related programs like the statewide Quit Line.

“At a time when both the state and federal cigarette taxes have increased substantially, more smokers are wanting to quit and it is very difficult to do it on their own,” Robson said. “They need a plan and they need support. The type of phone counseling and medications offered by the Quit Line have shown great success in helping people quit. Unfortunately, funding has been cut for these important services,” the article stated. 

Dangerously Smooth Clove Smoke

Late last month the FDA outlawed the sale of cigarettes with flavors like clove, strawberry or vanilla.   While there were some push back from smokers of clove cigarettes a recent report shows how important this restriction is to public health. There is a chemical in cloves that is responsible for numbing the throat and giving smokers the impression that these cigarettes are less harsh than others. The burning cloves releases a chemical called eugenol, a topical anesthetic used by dentists to numb the mouth. For smokers, inhaling clove smoke means numbing the throat, which allows them to breathe the smoke in more deeply. "Most officials agree that when young people smoke cloves, they can get hooked faster because of the anesthetic, eugenol, in the cloves," said Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic. "In many respects, clove cigarettes are more dangerous" than other flavored cigarettes, he said.

What you need to know:

  • Clove cigarettes are a thing of the past thanks to the FDA
  • Manufacturers of cloves are exploiting a loophole to keep their product on the market (creating little clove cigars)
  • The burning of cloves releases  a dangerous chemical, eugenol
  • Eugenol is a dangerous additive that numbs the throat and increases the likelihood of addiction 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Great Article in the Janesville Gazette

 — Much of Rock County Youth2Youth’s funding went up in smoke when Wisconsin’s anti-smoking and smoking cessation programs lost 55 percent of their state funding.
Funds in the 2009-11 budget signed by Gov. Jim Doyle cut total funding for anti-tobacco programs by more than half, from $15.3 million a year to $6.9 million.
Debbie Fischer, director of the countywide coalition, reacted to the cuts with disbelief.
“The statewide smoking free air (bill) passed and there was a large increase for cigarette tax, which means people are going to need help quitting (smoking). It’s almost like they said our work is done. But we’re so far from that,’’ she said.

Recent Report Shows Smoking Cessation Saves Health Care Costs

Earlier this month the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) released a 
report about employers and tobacco cessation. "Tobacco cessation is one of the most cost-effective activities an employer can implement to improve the health and productivity of their employees while reducing health care costs," the report stated. The report  also, "finds that health plans are playing an important role in administering smoking cessation benefits and encouraging physicians and other providers to focus on smoking cessation through education, tools, and incentives."

What you need to know:
  • Employers pay the cost of higher health care, increased absenteeism, increased life insurance premiums, and lower productivity when they have employees who smoke
  • Employer-based tobacco cessation programs should follow CDC best practice
  • Employer-based tobacco cessation programs save money and save lives 
  • Working with employers locally to improve their coverage is an important pathway to reducing Wisconsin's burden of tobacco
Helpful resource to use with employers who are ready to save valuable healthcare dollars:
UW-CTRI also has great information for employers trying to reduce their costs. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Congratulations to Flaherty & Associates.

We have exciting news to share with you. A lesser known ally in our efforts to defeat Big Tobacco are the public relations firm, Flaherty & Associates. Mike Flaherty and Connie Fedor (pictured left, along with Maureen Busalacchi, Executive Director of SmokeFree Wisconsin) have been in tobacco control in Wisconsin long before there was even a little something called the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. They were out there fighting Big Tobacco when the Master Settlement Agreement and the Tobacco Control Board first came into existence.
Last week their hard work spanning over a decade finally paid off in the form of one of the most prestigious awards, Award of Excellence.                              

The Public Relations Society of America- Madison Chapter (PRSA-Madison) presented its highest honor to Flaherty & Associates for the firm’s “Holding Our Breath for Smoke-free Air” campaign. Michael Flaherty, principal of the firm, accepted the award October 15 at a luncheon at Madison’s Hilton Hotel. To receive an Alchemy Award is quite an honor, but receive the "Award of Excellence" award is beyond most PR firms wildest dreams.

Our Tobacco-Free hats are off to the team who worked tirelessly to bring smoke-free air to Wisconsin! Thanks to both Connie and Mike!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More on E-Cigarettes

This morning I was getting my daily dose of talk radio and they featured an ad about electronic cigarettes.
The ad contained statements like:

"Try this product totally free, over a $130 value, yours free!"

"Tobacco-free product that will help you or your loved one quit"

"A safer alternative to smoking"

"Call this number for your free trial offer"

All of this seemed in keeping with other advertising we have seen about the emerging marketing of electronic cigarettes. Throughout the day I tried to call the number but it was busy every time. This product is also widely available in mall kiosks.
What was missing from this ad  and from mall kiosks are disclaimers saying that this product has not been thoroughly tested in clinical trials by the FDA like other cessation devices or pharmaceuticals. These ads and kiosks also don't have the disclaimer that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is curious as to how a company can claim a product is safer without providing the evidence that the product is indeed safer.
Continue to check back here as more develops on the issue of e-cigarettes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

IOM: Smoke-free laws reduce heart attacks

Earlier this week more evidence was added to the mountain of scientific proof showing smoke-free laws are good for health. The Institute of Medicine released a study this week addressing heart attacks and smoke-free laws. While there has been significant debate in the scientific community on the effect that smoke-free protections have on reducing heart attacks, the debate is finally over.

Here is what you need to know about the study:

  • Secondhand smoke exposure increases risks of heart disease and attacks and can cause heart attacks
  • After smoke-free laws are implemented there is an immediate reduction in heart attack rates
  • Smoke-free laws save lives, immediately after they are put in place
  • We must protect all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke
The first heart attack study was conducted in Helena, MT and has been replicated  in other places. However there were some studies that didn't show a significant reduction in heart attacks. The Institute of Medicine clarifies that there is an immediate reduction in heart attack rates and proves once and for all smoke-free laws are good for heart health. 

If you read just one other resource about this new study I would recommend:

However if want a full report filled with all the facts and figures the full scientific report is available as well.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Soldier dies after lung transplant

According to a CNN article a solider died after receiving a lung transplant from a person who was a heavy smoker. "Corporal Matthew Millington, 31, died at his home in 2008, less than a year after receiving a transplant that was supposed to save his life at Papworth Hospital -- the UK's largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, in Cambridgeshire, east England," the article stated. After the transplant cancerous cells were found leading to the need for radiation therapy. 

To read the full article please click here. 

This sad article points to the tragedy of receiving less than healthy lungs. It also asks the question should smokers' lungs be used in cases of transplant?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NicVAX: Nicotine vaccine may be closer to reality

With more than 440,000 annual preventable deaths being attributed to smoking, something that helps people to find  their permanent path to cessation is of the utmost importance. While there are many options currently, the problem of tobacco on the state, national, and global levels is far from gone. The good news is a nicotine vaccine may be closer to reality thanks to some help from federal stimulus dollars.

The intention behind this vaccine is prevent re-lapses among smokers who have successfully quit and as an aid to help people quit in the first place. Because nicotine dependency and addiction are very difficult to treat, this vaccine presents hope for current smokers and for former smokers those who have found a successful way to quit and want to keep it that way.

How does the vaccine work?
NicVAX (registered trademark of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals) is a nicotine deriative bond chemically to a specially selected carrier protein using patented vaccine technology. NicVAX causes the immune system to produce anti-bodies that bind to nicotine and prevent it from entering the brain. The intention is for the anti-bodies the immune system produces to act as sponges which soak up all the nicotine and prevent it from going to the brain. Blocking nicotine from entering the brain helps to curb the reward system that creates and maintains nicotine addiction.

How close are we?
A large grant was given to Nabi Pharmaceuticals to enter into third phase clinical trails. This is the final trial and thus far it has proven very successful in helping smokers who are ready to quit get over the hump of the initial withdrawal period.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Emerging Issue: Smoke-free housing

In July 2009 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memo in support of smoke-free public housing. The memo intended to encourage local public housing authorities to designate some or all of their units as smoke-free. The HUD memo points to the scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is not just annoying, it's dangerous. The science points to making all public housing smoke-free due to the nature of secondhand smoke. Because of the immense efforts of trying to get a statewide smoke-free law passed SFW has not fully explored the issue of smoke-free housing. We hope to join the states who have already taken the step to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke in a a place many people spend nearly 70% of their time.

To see what other states are doing on the issue of smoke-free housing click on the links below (many cities, and other states not listed).

Minnesota is making great strides in smoke-free housing.

So is New York 



and California

To read the latest smoke-free housing news visit the website for Americans for Non-Smokers Rights.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Evidence supports light and mild labels are deceptive

A 2009 study features in the Journal of Public Health shows that research participants were more likely to rate cigarette packages with the terms light, mild, smooth, and silver as having a smoother taste, pose a lower risk to health and deliver less tar than packages that used words like regular or full flavor. Also, participants rated packages with lighter colors or those that featured pictures of filters as a smoother, lower tar, and lower risk product. Smokers were more likely to believe the the reduced risk than non-smokers. Of note, smokers of light or mild cigarettes were much more likely to believe that their brand was smoother and carried less risk.

The fact is all cigarettes pose the same health risks no matter how Big Tobacco dresses them up. This study points out what Big Tobacco has known for a long time: smokers, especially light or mild smokers believe the product they use poses less risk to their health and will have a smoother flavor. This study is timely and relevant because the FDA will outlaw these words next year but Big Tobacco is already moving its branding and labeling into compliance while still maintaining the myth that light is some how less harmful. More than 40 countries do not allow the use of light or mild because these terms are misleading. The study points to the fact that removing light or mild is not going to be enough- color and a larger list of words must be outlawed to ensure that Big Tobacco can't continue to mislead people with bogus health claims.

To read the full article click here. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Green Bay picks up on the tobacco control funding cuts

"Starting next July, bars and restaurants in Wisconsin must go smoke-free. Now local smoke-free coalitions which backed that state law say they're already starting to see more smokeless tobacco products.

They say that's why they need to educate more people about the dangers of tobacco, period, but they fear it will be a tough task with more than half their funding now gone.
"We can see that the tobacco industry is marketing to our youth," Kris Kovacic from the Brown County Tobacco-Free Coalition says.
She points to one example, "They're actually tobacco products but they look like candy products."

FDA: No more light, ultra light, or other similiar descriptors

For many years Big Tobacco has used language light, ultra light, low tar, mild, and other descriptors of their products, mostly cigarettes. Typically Big Tobacco uses color association as well as descriptors. For example Marlboro Milds uses a blue package and the language of mild invoking a sense of reduced harm and potentially a safer product. Many smokers believe that lights or milds are not as harmful as other products.

Not to be outdone by Phillip Morris, R.J. Reynolds changed the packaging of Camel Lights to reflect the belief that smokers perceive the language of lights and blue colors as possibly safer. Pall Mall (also owned by R.J. Reynolds) uses blue for their Pall Mall Brand Lights. These changes were made prior to the FDA regulation of tobacco. In the minds of smokers the connect has already been between the colors and language of lights and milds. Pall Mall will be changing their brand language from Light to Blues in order to comply with the new FDA regulation. This example further shows smoker's association between light and blue packaging. These colors will be what convey the message of safer or potentially healthier to smokers, the words aren't as important as the marketing and packaging that comes with it.  
More below the break

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FDA Spotlight Series

As the various provisions of the FDA regulation begin to come into effect SmokeFree Wisconsin believes it is important to keep are readers updated on the various components of the law. We will also be talking about the dubious and deceptive ways that Big Tobacco will try to avoid these regulations.

Our first post about flavored cigarettes can be read here: CLICK HERE

We hope you are as excited about the possibilities of learning more about the FDA regulation as well as the always dubious ways of Big Tobacco.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Belated Congratulations to Montana!

On October 1st, Montana implemented the final phase of their smoke-free air law. Their law includes all hospitality venues and state-run casinos. Congratulations to Montana smoke-free advocates for clearing the air and improving the public health of all Montanans.

A little background: in 2005 Montana's legislature voted to go smoke-free by passing the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act. The Act  requires all enclosed workplaces be smoke-free starting October 1, 2009. This is a very strong law that will protect non-smokers from the hazards of secondhand smoke. Many workplaces including restaurants went smoke-free in 2005 with bars and casinos joining earlier this month. While the four year wait must have been quite long, smoke-free air is finally granted to all workers and customers no matter the business or venue.

While Montana joins the growing number of states and municipalities going smoke-free many states still do not have comprehensive protections from secondhand smoke. Click here to see a map of the United States.

Click here to read an editorial about the newly implemented provisions of the law.

Congrats to Montana for taking a step in the right direction for public health!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quit Line remains despite budget cuts

The article on budget reductions impacting the state's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program highlighted one of the tough decisions made to address the impact of the struggling national economy on the state budget.
Secretary Timberlake published a letter to the editor today in response to the article addressing the funding cut for tobacco prevention:
Funding for tobacco prevention received an across-the-board reduction applied to all state programs, as well as significant reductions during the legislative budget process. Even with these cuts, the Department of Health Services is committed to helping smokers who want to quit and preventing kids from starting to smoke.
We will maintain an important resource in our state - the Quit Line - which has consistently served about 2 percent of Wisconsin's smoking population. We will still be able to assist the same number of people, despite the reductions.
We'll achieve this by maintaining the basic funding level for the Quit Line, as well as adjusting the number of follow-up calls for individuals with private insurance to ensure the Quit Line will remain an effective tool for many years. We also cover smoking cessation medications through the Medicaid program.
There are many reasons to stop smoking, whether it's for your own health, your family's health or because smoking is an increasingly expensive addiction. Whatever your reason, the Quit Line is still available to help. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW today.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wisconsin Asthma Coalition

The Wisconsin Asthma Coalition recognized the Governor for passing the statewide smoke-free law which goes into effect next year. They also wanted to thank city leaders in Marshfield for stepping up and  putting out their butts a little early. 

Marshfield went smoke-free by referendum in April's election last year. The rest of the state will join next year in July. 

"The unintended health impacts to employees was the driving factor," said Mayor Chris Meyer. "People who work in a tavern or in a restaurant may not have the opportunity to choose where they work. So working in an environment with second-hand smoke was a concern of healthcare professionals and to many others." (Newsline Channel Nine Article)

To read the full article click here: FULL ARTICLE

Friday, October 2, 2009

Now you can report the sale of candy flavored tobacco products!

The FDA has launched a whole new website dedicated to its important work of regulated tobacco products.
As many of you know candy flavored cigarettes are a thing of the past as of September 22, 2009. If you see a retailer stocking these products or are able to purchase these products you should report that retailer to the FDA. It is important that we make sure retailers are aware of the changes to the law about flavored cigarettes like clove, vanilla, grape, or strawberry.

To report a retailer who is selling or still stocking these products visit the FDA website.

To read more about flavored tobacco products see the FDA's Factsheet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great Article in the Wisconsin State Journal TODAY!

(Pictured Left: Lois Smith, of Rio, quit smoking with help from Wisconsin's Quit Line, part of a program funded by the state cigarette tax. She's shown here in February 2009. Photo by: John Maniaci - State Journal archives)

"Starting Thursday, smokers with health insurance who call the state Quit Line for help kicking their habit will get less help, the result of a 55 percent cut in state funding to smoking cessation and anti-smoking programs.
In spite of soaring state cigarette taxes, the Quit Line's funding was slashed by two-thirds - from $3.7 million a year to $1.2 million - as part of the broad cuts implemented in the 2009-11 budget signed by Gov. Jim Doyle to help solve the state's massive deficit. Total funding for anti-tobacco programs was cut from $15.3 million a year to $6.9 million.
The cuts follow a 75-cent increase in the cigarette tax on Sept. 1 that brought the state tax to $2.52 per pack, and also follows a $1-per-pack increase in 2008 - moves made to help solve budget deficits."