Tuesday, August 31, 2010

UW-Stout Becomes First Four-Year School Within UW System to Go Tobacco-Free

UW-Stout students, faculty, staff and visitors will no longer be permitted to use any tobacco products on campus grounds as of Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. The new ordinance, voted on by a handful of student members of the UW-Stout Student Association, will prohibit tobacco-use both indoors and outdoors, including sidewalks and parking lots. Doug Mell, the executive director of communications at the University said it didn’t make sense to pass the new rule and exempt certain areas.

“Looking around the country and talking to other universities that have done this, we found one of the ways that it is most effective is if you don’t start carving out exemptions and exclusions,” said Mell. “Either we were going to do it or we weren’t. We didn’t exempt anything.”

All tobacco receptacles have been removed from the campus and anyone seen using tobacco on campus will be given a piece of paper, reminding them the campus is now tobacco-free and providing the individual with contacts for cessation programs.

According to Mell, the new ordinance is not about telling anyone they can’t smoke or use these products, but it's about educating those at the university on what's best for them and their health.

“There’s an increasing amount of evidence showing a significant amount of students who leave campus as smokers were not smoking ahead of time,” he said. “Anything we can do to show smoking is harmful to their health and will kill, anything we can do is worth the effort. Making UW-Stout tobacco-free sends a very important message about what we believe is best for our students, faculty and staff.”

Mell believes there will not be too much opposition because of the overwhelming support for the implementation of a Smoke-Free Air ordinance on campus last year.

He said many students believe as he and his colleagues at the university do, “If society is going that way, which we believe it is, what do you get by waiting?” he asked. “What do you gain by waiting for five years if you’re going to do it in five years anyway.”

SmokeFree Wisconsin congratulates the students at UW-Stout for taking such a positive position on tobacco-use and protecting the health of their fellow students and staff members. We also congratulate those higher up at the university who signed off on this important decision. Way to go UW-Stout. We hope others will follow!

To see local media coverage on new campus ordinance click here!

There is NO Safe Amount of Exposure to Cigarette Smoke - New Study Finds

The study, published in the Aug. 20 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found even "casual" smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke suffer intial damage to the genes in their cells that line their airway.

The report on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Web site says, "The bottom line: 'There is no level of cigarette smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke that does not make the cells in your lungs sick,' said study author Dr. Ronald Crystal, chief of the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, in New York City."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lance Armstrong Supports a Smoke-Free Wisconsin

Lance Armstrong kicked-off Madison's annual Ride The Drive on Sunday, August 29th. The very first thing he said, "It's awfully cool for me as a cancer survivor to be in a smoke-free Wisconsin." The crowd began cheering and Armstrong went on to say, "It's great to be in this great state that's now smoke-free."

Check out the video below of Lance Armstrong's opening remarks.

Lance Armstrong Thinks Wisconsin is Better Smoke-Free from Kyle Pfister on Vimeo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What's Being Marketed to You on YouTube?

CNN Reports: A recent study found videos on YouTube promoting tobacco products to the site’s audience. The study, published in Tobacco Control, found more than 70% of the 163 popular videos studied had content that was pro-tobacco. Tobacco companies say they aren’t behind the videos.

Check out CNN’s blog post about the study and the complete study itself here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get Your Vote On

So I know it’s still 80 degrees out and many of us may be refusing to admit fall is just around the corner, but it really is. And with that comes election season! The primaries are less than a month away, and in quite a few districts it is the primaries that will determine the state assembly and state senate seats. Are you registered to get your vote on?

If you’ve moved since the last time you voted, or if you’re a first-time voter you need to register. You can register at the polls, but it will save you time to register beforehand.

In Wisconsin, you have a couple choices if you choose to register before Election Day.

1. Register in person at the municipal clerk’s office where you live. You can register there up until 5 p.m. the day before the election. If you are registering after the mailing deadline listed below, you must bring an acceptable form of proof of residence, such as a current and valid Wisconsin driver's license, a utility bill or a bank statement, with you to the clerk's office. Many cities, towns or villages have additional places where you can register, as well. Check with your community for these other registration sites.

2. Another option is to register by mail. You can download and print out a registration application here. If you’d rather, you can also call or write to your clerk’s office, to request an application be sent to your address. If you are a first-time voter, you must submit an acceptable copy of proof of residence when you return the application. The completed application must be postmarked and received by the clerk’s office 20 days before the election. If you're voting in the primaries, you only have until the 25th of August, this Wednesday, to get the form to your clerk's office if you want to register this way.

For more information on how to register, where you’re polling place is located or any other questions about the election process you can visit this site and click on the “Elections & Voting” tab at the top.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Smoking Prevalence in Top Movies Hits Record Low!

USA Today Reports: Last year, less than half of the 145 hit movies had smoking in them, according to a recent study. That is a new record low for the last two decades! In movies aimed at children, 61% of them had no smoking at all.

However, there is still smoking in 54% of movies rated PG-13, which, researchers say, is concerning because that’s where teens view it the most.

Check out the full article about the new study on USA Today’s Web site.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Smoking Tied to Frequent Headaches and Migraines in Teens

A new study published in the American Academy of Neurology found teens that smoke, teens that are obese or teens that exercise very little get frequent headaches or migraines more often. Smoking teens are 50 percent more likely to suffer from headaches and migraines than teens without any of these three negative health factors. Of the three health factors, smoking teens had the highest chance of frequent headaches.

Check out the full article here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Celebration Events of the Smoke-Free Sounds Series Continue!

If you haven't made it out to a Smoke-Free Sounds Series concert yet, presented by the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, True Endeavors and Wisconsin is Better Smoke Free, your chance isn't over! The series continues through August, celebrating live music in Wisconsin's smoke-free air!

If you’re in the Racine area and don’t have plans for Friday Aug. 20th, check out Jason and The Haymakers at Raytown Roadhouse. The music starts at 9 p.m. and admission is only $5!

All of you in the Green Bay neighborhood, Smoke-Free Sounds Series is coming to you Saturday, Aug. 28TH at 8 p.m. Monsters of Mock will be playing at Tom, Dick and Harry’s in Green Bay. Admission is $5 for this event as well.

For more information on the Smoke-Free Sounds Series click here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Local Enforcement Ordinances Continue to be Passed

It’s been almost a month and a half since the statewide smoke-free air law took effect. Already more than 50 local enforcement ordinances have been passed around the state to make sure area residents and visitors are breathing clean air. We applaud these communities! Because of the new law and these local enforcement ordinances, everyone is able to breathe easier!

You can find your community's web site here and see if their enforcement ordinance is listed.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the smoke-free air!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Introducing SmokeFree Wisconsin's newest member - Steve!

My name is Steve Elliott, and I am very happy to be joining the SmokeFree Wisconsin team as the Policy and Grassroots Specialist. My background is in grassroots organizing, campaign management and political advocacy, and I've worked with various levels of government, from the county level to federal elected officials and agencies. I'm looking forward to working with all of you, to raise awareness, hold elected officials accountable and make sure that everyone has the ability to choose a safe and healthy lifestyle.

Wisconsin is now the third state that I have lived in as smoke-free laws were passed and enacted. Because of the efforts of you and this organization, my 2-year old daughter, Alice, will have the opportunity to grow up in a healthier, cleaner environment. I look forward to joining in blog discussions as we all pursue the best and healthiest Wisconsin possible.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The smoke-free air law is leading to fewer businesses selling cigarettes, creating healthier communities - greenbaypressgazette.com

The Green Bay Press Gazette: Many area businesses are decreasing their cigarette sales and the number of sales permits for cigarettes is also down. Officials believe the new law is one contributor to this decrease and expect the numbers to continue to fall.

Monday, August 9, 2010

TV Interview on Decreased Teen Smoking Rates

You can watch SmokeFree Wisconsin's Maureen Busalacchi's live TV interview here. She was on WKOW 27 News Friday, August 6th at 5 p.m. to discuss the drop in Wisconsin’s teen smoking rate.

The decreased rates are incredibly encouraging, but the work continues to make sure these rates don't rise again.

Enjoy the interview!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Youth Smoking Rates Fall

Great news from the 2010 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS)!

Smoking rates among high school and middle school teens are down significantly! In 2010, 15 percent fewer high-schoolers are lighting up than in 2008 and the number of middle school smokers fell by nine percent. This means literally thousands of teens will be prevented from walking down the road to a lifetime of addiction and thousands of lives will be saved from premature death. The lower rates are evidence the cigarette tax is working, but these gains will be lost if tobacco control efforts aren't maintained.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services press release on YTS

WKBT-TV coverage of YTS