Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Our blog is on spring break until April 5th, 2010. Check back then for all the latest and greatest in tobacco news in Wisconsin and across the nation!

Enjoy this beautiful spring time weather and all the fresh smoke-free air you can! 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stellar Earned Media Efforts Out of La Crosse

Did you know we are less than 100 days from being 100% smoke-free here in Wisconsin?
Businesses need to start preparing for this change whether that's cleaning the air vents or buying new signs. With warmer weather approaching its time for businesses to get excited for the change.
Paula Silha from La Crosse advises all businesses not just bars and restaurants to get ready for a smoke-free Wisconsin.

To read the article click here. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Great Article & Video

This article from Fox News 21 out of the Duluth-Superior Area highlights the problems with the emerging products like snus, sticks, strips, and orbs.
Just like Pat and Michelle say- these products AREN'T safer despite what Big Tobacco might lead you to believe.

Take a look:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kick Butts Day

Today, Wednesday March 24th marks the 15th annual Kick Butts Day here in Wisconsin. Many youth have been preparing for this day for months. From Rock County to La Crosse to Clayton, youth from all over the state are telling Big Tobacco that they are not going to be their target any more. The lies and manipulation stop with these youth.

  • Youth in Rock and La Crosse Counties are sharing their excitement about the big day 7/5/10- the day Wisconsin goes smoke-free. 
  • Youth at Fort McCoy are educate soldiers and the families on why it is so great to live tobacco-free. 
  • Youth in are demonstrating the cost of tobacco with a visual of  hundred dollar bills in the cafeteria. 
  • Jackson County Youth are hosting a poster and t-shirt making contest.

Kick Butts Day is about raising awareness about the problem of tobacco (tobacco-related health care costs coming in at $2.02 Billion), the human cost of tobacco (7,200 lives lost each year in WI alone), and more importantly- the SOLUTION.
This year Wisconsin youth have a lot to celebrate including the passage of a comprehensive smoke-free air law and a tobacco tax increase. The most important message that youth can make on this annual day of Kicking Butt is to remind their state leaders that the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program needs to be funded at the CDC recommended level. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

California is one step closer to smoke-free parks

Earlier this week the California Assembly voted in favor of a measure that would make all parks smoke-free. The final vote of (42-27) will make California history if the measures ends being signed into law by the governor.

Friday, March 19, 2010

California considers smoke-free parks and beaches

California is home to hundreds of national and state parks (approximately 279 parks). Some of the most famous parks in the U.S. are located in California or have a portion of the park in California. 

California  is also known for its Pacific Coastal environment including many beaches.
Right now the California State Assembly is considering a bill that will make all parks and beaches 100% smoke-free. This bill has three main goals in mind. First this legislations would reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. It also aims to reduce or eliminate toxic trash or cigarette butts (To learn more about cigarette butts as toxic trash click here.). The final goal would be reduce the risk of wildfires. 

It is believed that this would be the most restrictive policy in terms of smoke-free beaches and parks because it extends to all beaches at all times. There is one exemption for smoking at individual campsites. Given California's budget crunch, parks that could not afford to buy no smoking signs would also be exempt. The California Parks Department is remaining neutral in the discussion this year. Last year they opposed the policy due to the cost of  purchasing and posting signs. 

Check back for more details as this legislation advances. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PACT Act Passes!

Back in November we discussed an important piece of legislation that Wisconsin's own Sen. Kohl was taking the lead on. That legislation is the Preventing All Cigarette Trafficking Act or the PACT Act.
Just as a review this act would reduce or eliminate cigarette trafficking and would prohibit the US Postal service from delivering mail-ordered tobacco products. This legislation has cleared both houses in Congress and awaits President Obama's signature. It is expected that the President will sign this bill. In the House the bill number is HR. 1676 and in the Senate its S.1147.

While tobacco control activists applaud this decision there are a handful of groups who are outraged. In particular, the Seneca Nation, is concerned that their business of providing cigarettes over the internet and via mail order would be completely closed down should the legislation come into effect.

Supporters of the bill highlight the importance of preventing young people from gaining access to tobacco products over the internet without proper age verification.

For more details on the bill from the House click here. 

See Senator Kohl's Statement on the issue.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Study: Quit smoking now and in 1 year see improvements

A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that a group of Wisconsinites who quit smoking might have packed on a few pounds (nine to be exact) but had healthier arteries after one year. This health benefit was measured at a 14% reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease.
This study was recently presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting.

The study also examined the difficulties of quitting smoking. The study participants were pack-a-day smokers in their 40's. They all received counseling and either a cessation treatment or a placebo. After one year only 36% of the participants were non-smokers.
What you need to know:

  • Quitting smoking is a huge challenge, even with treatment and counseling. 
  • The health benefits of quitting are numerous, including improved artery function.
Best cessation resource:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Big Tobacco: How Do You Sleep at Night?

It seems Camel's trick to lure young women was successful. You may remember in 2008 Camel ran numerous ads for their new product Camel No. 9's in magazines like Cosmo, Vogue, and, Glamour. A recent study shows that the advertising of Camel may have been effective in getting young women and girls to start smoking. A survey of girls ages 10-13 found a significant spike in brand preference for Camel once the ads for Camel No. 9 began being prevalent in magazines. Below is a quote from the American Legacy Foundation release on the study:
The study enrolled more than one thousand 10-13 year olds in 2003 and followed them 5 times through 2008, asking participants to report a brand of “favorite” cigarettes. Specifically, teens who reported having a favorite cigarette ad at baseline were 50 percent more likely to have smoked by the fifth interview.  The proportion of boys who reported having a favorite ad remained stable across all five surveys; however, it was found that after the launch of Camel No. 9, the percentage of teen girls who reported having a favorite cigarette ad increased by 10 percentage points, with Camel accounting for nearly all of this increase. (emphasis added.)
While the ads described the product as light and luscious the results of the advertising were anything but that. The question must be asked, how can you sleep at night when most regular smokers started before age 18, when ad campaigns like Camel No. 9 show strong brand preferences among young girls, and when these ads directly contributed to the initiation of smoking of an audience which is supposed to be protected by the Master Settlement Agreement?

How many Wisconsin girls were lured by these ads? How many girls started smoking so that they too might be fashionable, grown-up, and luscious? How do you sleep at night Big Tobacco?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Smoke-free Middleton One Year Later

Today Middleton celebrates its one year anniversary of being smoke-free. Cleaner healthier indoor workplaces have been a positive for the city of Middleton. Bev Jambois, Middleton resident, remarked how smooth the transition was in the city and anticipates the whole state will have a similarly positive transition to 100% smoke-free workplaces.
Congrats to Middleton on your one year of breathing easier inside smoke-free workplaces, bars, and restaurants!

Click here to read the channel 27 coverage.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Southwest WI welcomes new tobacco control model

The Janesville Gazette featured a great article on the new structure of a multi-jurisdictional coalition in the Rock, Green, Grant, Lafayette and Iowa County area. The Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Control will serve as the lead agency in the area who will fight big tobacco and Wisconsin's #1 cause of preventable death and disease.
The top three priorities for group include implement the statewide smoke-free air law, prevent youth from using tobacco, and to coordinate tobacco control efforts for the area.

To read the full article click here.

Wisconsin Restaurant Magazine Article

If you missed this article take a look. It makes many great points about the new smoke-free law.

This article was distributed to all food-service licensees in the state of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) is also educating people about the new smoke-free law at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo. The expo is held March 8th-10th in Milwaukee. Thousands of food-service professionals come together to learn about new products, green initiatives, and competitions.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

7C's Area starting to prepare for Smoke-Free WI

WKBT featured a great article about the 7 county area which includes Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, Monroe, Vernon, Crawford and La Crosse Counties. It highlights the importance of getting ready to go smoke-free early and some of the provisions of the law. 
For the full article click here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preparing for July 5th

Wisconsin will at long last go smoke-free this July. Last May the legislature voted for the entire state to go smoke-free. Recently the Department of Commerce initiating a rule-making process to clarify the smoke-free law. The rules can be seen here. A public hearing will take place on April 6th in Madison. See our analysis below:

The Department of Commerce rules clarify the definition of enclosed in the statewide smoke-free air law. The statutory definitions for "enclosed place" and "substantial wall" provided in Wisconsin Act 12 can be construed to allow smoking in many public buildings and places of employment. These definitions are inconsistent with the objectives of the smoke-free air law. Department of Commerce has redefined "enclosed indoor place" to clarify the definitions and to match the statute with the intention of legislators. The definition means that areas that are bounded by a ceiling and floor and at least 50% walls, windows, or doors are enclosed places and must be smoke-free. Screening materials does not count as a wall. 
Check back for more details on the rule-making process.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Congrats to Shanghai!

Last week,  the Associated Press reported that Shanghai is preparing to go smoke-free before the World Expo. In a country where nearly 67% of men smoke and 4% of women smoke, a smoke-free workplaces law is vital to public health. Its been said one in every three cigarettes smoked is smoked in China. While that statistic may remain true, those cigarettes will be smoked outside.

Read the Associate Press Article here. 

Learn more about smoking in Southeast Asia here.

Great Column from Wisconsin Rapids

The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune got it right with this column. Smokeless and spit tobacco products are an emerging public health issue. A recent study found 7% of high schoolers are chewing.

Read this great article here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ohio: Smoke-free Prison 1 year later

The heart of it all, Ohio, implemented a institution wide tobacco-free policy last year. In assessing the success of that policy a clear indicator has emerged. Ohio taxpayers will be paying less for medical care for people who are incarcerated because of this policy. Prison medical staff indicated that inmates with tobacco related illnesses have been feeling better and require less medication to feel good. Ohio prisons chief Ernie Moore said the positive health effect is "the reason we did this in the first place."
"It's been proven that tobacco use increases health-care costs. When taxpayers are paying for inmate health-care cost, it only made sense to eliminate smoking," according the Columbus Dispatch article. 

This policy is a clear marker of the benefits of a tobacco-free workplace policy. 

Is you workplace tobacco-free? If not, what are you and your employer paying in tobacco-related illnesses?