Mission Statement

The mission of re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, is to improve the health of our residents by reducing tobacco use and exposure through prevention strategies which include community outreach and involvement to move policy forward collaboratively, across our multi-jurisdictional area.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Update on Statewide Smoke-Free Air

As of Thursday morning, there has been a total of 32 legislators that have signed on as co-sponsors of the stand-alone smoke-free bill! This is great news!!! Winnebago County legislators that have signed on include Rep. Dick Spanbauer, Rep. Gordon Hintz and Sen. Mike Ellis. These legislators deserve a THANK YOU from their constituents for their support of this issue. Their email addresses are:




The next steps for the stand-along bill include submitting the bill to theCommittee on Health in the Assembly and/or the Senate. I'll keep the blog updated as more information is available.

The stand-alone smoke-free bill, which is nearly identical to the smoke-free proposal in the governor's proposed budget, offer us another chance to guarantee Wisconsin passes a smoke-free law this legislative session. With a smoke-free bill as part of the budget and as stand-alone legislation, this issue won't be ignored!

If you haven't visited http://www.smokefreewi.org/ recently, check it out to see what else you could do to make sure WI is the NEXT smoke-free state! Also, letters to the editor expressing your opinion on statewide smoke-free are ALWAYS appreciated!!!

Let me know if you have questions. 920-232-3021. edieringer@co.winnebago.wi.us

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on Statewide Smoke-Free Air and Program Funding

Statewide Smoke-Free Air will be introduced as stand-alone legislation. Lead sponsors are Rep. Richards, Rep. Ott, Sen. Risser and Sen. Ellis. There is a memo circulating among legislators asking them to co-sponsor legislation to make Wisconsin smoke-free. The deadline for co-sponsorship is end of business Wednesday.

The Lead Sponsors have a committement to move this legislation along very quickly. They are hoping to introduce it into both houses before the State Budget is finalized. This means they are shooting for each house to take it up sometime in May.

ALSO, the Smoke-Free Air Bill is STILL in the Budget. As it stands right now, the language is very similar to the stand-along bill. Lawmakers are hoping that the Budget will be ready to be voted upon before the end of June.

If you want to know who your lawmaker is, visit: www.legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

I will try to update everyone on smoke-free air as often as I can. This will be moving very quickly in the next few weeks.

For the most up-to-date information or to learn more about what you can do, visit http://www.smokefreewi.org/ or http://www.holdingourbreathwi.com/.

On a side note, I had posted last week that the Tobacco Program Funding was restored into the Budget. Here are a few more details:
*Tobacco Prevention and Control will have $30.5 million allocated to it over the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
*The restored $1.8 million will be placed into the 2009 year. Therefore, 2010 will be operating on a $900,000 cut when compared to 2008 funding levels.
*The word is not final on if the restored funding will STAY in the Budget. Now that the Joint Finance Committee has voted on it, this piece of the Budget will go to the Senate and then to the Assembly.

Visit the Legislature's home page http://www.legis.state.wi.us/ to search for details on the Budget process.

And as always, contact me with questions.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding Restored!

Posted on Smoke-Free Wisconsin's Blog late Thursday evening by Liz Sanger.

This just in from the Joint Finance Committee session last night: Tobacco Prevention and Control Program funding has been restoredto its current level of $15.25 million per year. (Vote: 12-4)
This is good news for state taxpayers, our next generation of youth in Wisconsin, and tobacco users who need help quitting their addictions.The program works. It saves taxpayer dollars. The investment is critical.
Our work isn't done, so keep your sleeves rolled up!

THANK YOU to all of you for your hard work so far.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parents Who Host Lose the Most:Don't Be a Party to Underage Drinking

Parents Who Host Lose the Most campaign is being conducted in partnership with Drug-Free Communities Coalition ,Oshkosh Police Department, Winneconne Police, Omro Police, Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, University of WI-Oshkosh and US Bank.

We have blanketed the community with awareness materials that educate residents on both the dangers and consequences of furnishing minors with alcohol. The community response has been impressive. College youth from the "Helping Hands" UWO volunteer group assisted Lisa Brown, Dorry Wilner and Diana Zeller April 18th where we distributed lawn signs, window clings, fact sheets, stickers and more at area businesses and residential communities.

The pilot state of Ohio boasted huge gains by implementing this program. After 6 years of campaigning every spring they realized results:
42% drop in the number of youth who knew parents who hosted teen parties

36% drop in the number of youth who had attended teen parties where alcohol was served in the past 2 months

29% decrease in the number of parents surveyed who knew of other parents who served alcohol to youth.

We hope to follow their lead. We have a great start with Mayoral Proclamations stating that April is alcohol awareness month. Thanks to Bob Breu of Omro and now former mayor of Oshkosh,Frank Tower. If you are interested in viewing some role plays of community leaders engaged in conversations with youth regarding NOT serving alcohol at their grad party, please view http://youtube.com/Parentswhohost

This campaign is strategically designed for this time of year, to precede prom and graduation parties and support parents with positive strategies to celebrate their youth's achievements and milestones. (Neighboring towns in Neenah& Menasha will be served in summer when they anticipate a well attended parent athletic code meeting.)

CALL TO ACTON EVENT! For all parents of teens, teachers, coaches, youth workers, family members and concerned neighbors. Let's pull together and put a dent in the teen culture of underage drinking! See you there:
Oshkosh West High School
Monday April 27 6-7 PM

Tobacco Prevention and Control Funding to be Voted Upon

On Thursday, April 23, the Joint Finance Committee will consider Tobacco Control Program funding. Here’s a link to the specific proposals under consideration: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lfb/2009-11Budget/Budget%20Papers/454.pdf

Three options that under consideration are:

*Fund the program at the governor’s recommended reduced level: $14,350,000 GPR (a reduction of $900,000 from the previous annual rate)

*Fund the program at a lower rate, $13,250,000 GPR (a total cut of $2,200,000)

*Fund the program at the previous level: $15,250,000 GPR annually (current funding)

The excise taxes and smoke free air bill are expected to come up later in the budgetary process, but before the JFC’s target end date in June.


You can contact your Senator or Representative to let them know about all the great things the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program does.

If you don't know who your legislators are, you can find out here:

If your legislator(s) don't serve on JFC, urge them to tell their colleagues on the Committee what you said about the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

When you contact your Senator and Representative, don't forget to:
*Identify yourself as a constituent
*Tell them all the great things Tobacco Prevention and Control Does
* Educate them on need for continued funding and what could happen if funding is cut
*Stress the importance of tobacco control funding to improve the health of everyone, reduce health care costs and increase workplace productivity in Wisconsin.

If you'd like more information, please contact Emily Dieringer. edieringer@co.winnebago.wi.us

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tobacco Issues Take Center Stage at Appleton Joint Finance Meeting

The State's Joint Committee on Finance held a hearing on April 1 at Lawence University to hear the concerns of the members of the public on the 2009-2011 Budget proposed by Gov. Doyle. Tobacco Control's presence, powerful testimony, and passion were on full display.

A "re-cap" of the Appleton Hearing:
* 222 individuals/groups registered to speak at the hearing (largest hearing to date)
* Began at 10am and lasted until 5:45 pm
* There were approximately 50 people in line by 8:15 am; One of the last individuals to speak for the day commented that he arrived at 10:10am
* 3 FACT groups, 3 representatives from the Native American Network, 23 NE Region reps from 12 counties, and 9 N Region reps from 4 counties spoke on tobacco
* 100+ written testimonies were submitted
* A handful of individuals in the crowd not affiliated with our movement asked to wear our stickers
* Groups of 3 or more were organized the morning of the hearing, but larger groups and fewer speakers were requested by some of the legislators in the early afternoon
* 2 individuals spoke in opposition of smokefree workplaces

A "re-cap" of the testimony from all of hearings in regards to the 3 tobacco issues in the budget this year:
* At least 133 adults gave spoken testimony!
* 156 FACT youth participated with 42 presenting spoken testimony
* There were so many supporters of tobacco control that the committee asked us to group testimony together
* Countless amounts of written testimony were submitted.
* The outpouring of public support for strong tobacco control policies during the JFC hearings was covered by local media across the state.

THANK YOU to Lori Duclon, Doug Gieryn, Cheryl Laabs, Bonnie Thomas, and Kate Hoerth along with 30 UWO Nursing Students for submitting written testimony from the Winnebago County Tobacco-Free Coalition.

And a SPECIAL THANK YOU to Lara Vendola-Messer for attending the hearing along with Lisa Brown and Emily Dieringer who gave spoken testimony.

All of your efforts make a difference!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

U.S. House Takes Giant Step Toward Historic Regulation of Tobacco Products

the following news release was posted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Washington, DC (April 2, 2009) – The U.S. House of Representatives today put Congress on the brink of truly historic action to reduce tobacco use – the nation’s No. 1 cause of preventable death – by approving legislation granting the FDA authority over tobacco products. We urge the Senate to quickly pass this legislation and resist all efforts to weaken it. There are few steps Congress can take that would make a bigger difference for America’s health than to pass this long-overdue legislation. It will end the special protection the tobacco industry has enjoyed for too long and protect our children and the nation’s health instead.

We applaud House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Representative Todd Platts (R-PA) for their leadership in introducing this strong legislation and quickly moving it forward.

Today’s 298-112 vote underscores the broad, bipartisan support for this legislation and provides strong momentum for enacting it into law this year. It has been endorsed by more than 1,000 public health, faith, medical and other organizations (see list at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/fda/organizations.pdf). A poll last year found that 70 percent of American voters support FDA regulation of tobacco products (see details at www.tobaccofreekids.org/fdapoll/). It has been endorsed by scientific authorities including the Institute of Medicine and the President’s Cancer Panel.

Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, more than 1,000 children become new regular smokers. Yet tobacco products are exempt from the FDA’s common-sense regulations that apply to virtually every other product we consume, from food to drugs to cosmetics. This allows tobacco companies to market their deadly and addictive products to children, deceive consumers about the harm their products cause, make changes to their products without disclosing them (such as manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes), and resist any meaningful change to make their products less harmful.

This legislation would grant the FDA the authority and resources to effectively regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. Among other things, it would:

· Restrict tobacco advertising and promotions, especially to children.
· Stop illegal sales of tobacco products to children.
· Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco packages and advertising.
· Ban misleading health claims such as “light” and “low-tar” and strictly regulate all health claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and do not discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.
· Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, as well as changes in products and research about their health effects.
· Empower the FDA to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients or the reduction of nicotine levels.
· Fully fund the FDA’s new tobacco-related responsibilities with a user fee on tobacco companies so no resources are taken from the FDA’s current work.