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, June 18, 2009

Going to a festival or event this summer?

I've added a list to the right of the blog of some events that could be rated using our Summer Events Rating Sheet.

Anyone can rate any event. Those posted are just a few of the events going on in Winnebago County. If you have an event that you'd like to add, just email Emily edieringer@co.winnebago.wi.us or Lisa lbrown@co.winnebago.wi.us

Monday, June 15, 2009

FDA Granted Regulatory Power over Tobacco Products

The information below is from an article posted today at NRO. Click this link for the full article. The author has some skeptical opinions about how the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will benefit public health.


"The legislation grants the FDA expansive regulatory authority over tobacco products, including their development and advertising. The law will be administered by a new division within the agency and funded by special taxes on tobacco manufacturers that are expected to raise a half-billion dollars per year. So tobacco users will face still higher prices and more restrictions on their favored products. Less clear is whether the new law, taken as a whole, will enhance public health. Some portions of the bill are almost certainly unconstitutional, and others could inhibit the marketing of less dangerous products.

The central provisions of the bill establish a new regulatory regime for tobacco. The bill sets specific limits on advertising and promotion, prohibiting sponsorship of sporting and entertainment events, free product giveaways, and advertising in publications with substantial teen readership. The federal government will also regulate vending machine placement, self-service displays, point-of-sale advertising, and over-the-counter sales at retailers. The FDA will have explicit authority to develop additional marketing limitations as it deems appropriate.Manufacturers will be required to place expanded warning labels on their products and to provide the government with more detailed information about cigarette contents and smoking by-products. The law also bans flavored cigarettes--except for menthol."

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law in the next few days.

More information can be found at SmokeFree WI's blog (link on this page) or at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids www.tobaccofreekids.org

Friday, June 12, 2009

FDA Regulation of Tobacco Closer to Becoming Reality

The US Senate passed a bill giving the FDA authority over tobacco products this Wednesday. Some tobacco control advocates are wrestling with this bill because its authors have seemingly struck a deal with Philip Morris, the largest tobacco company in the US (makers of Marlboro). But regardless of this supposed "treaty," the FDA could potentially alter how cigarettes are manufactured and advertised in the US.

Highlights of the bill include:
  • Marketing and advertising. It bans the words "mild," "lite" and "low tar" on cigarette packages. It will restrict magazine advertising to plain tombstone ads, so-called because they are black and white print rectangles.
  • It prohibits marketers of smokeless-tobacco brands from making any suggestion that their products are healthier than cigarettes.
  • Cigarette packages will have to devote 50% of both sides to safety warnings. (The House version only requires 30%)
  • Flavored cigarettes, often marketed to children, would more than likely be completely prohibited.
  • One critical provision will undo a 40-year-old prohibition against state regulation of tobacco marketing. It will let states pass their own restrictions, such as "time, place and manner" limits on the way cigarettes are sold at convenience stores and gas stations.
A Wall Street Journal article summarizes much of the details of this historic legislation. The US House passed a similar bill in April.

For additional information, visit the Smoke-Free Wisconsin blog (link on this page)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our Strong Presence at Waterfest

Our volunteers are making a strong presence with our Designated Driver project at Waterfest! We will continue to be there all summer on Thursday nights. A Party Sober banners labels our table while thought provoking sings line the blvd up to our point of contact. We posted the Cab Company # , have information from Solutions treatment center on hand, and everyone loves the "Party Sober" beads! WVBO radio station was on site June 4th and gave us a plug for our efforts. We appreciate the dedication of all those who have signed up to volunteer! Check out Chris DeIuliis who was joined by 2 Americorp volunteers Deanna Backhaus, Lynn Jaworski to represent us. They talked to attendees, and handed out coupons for free soda for those who are Designated Drivers at Waterfest. Way to go TF&DFC.
Contact Lisa Brown if you want to participate in other events this summer like Sovereign State Days, Sawdust Days or the Winnebago County Fair. lbrown@co.winnebago.wi.us

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

UPDATE: WI Tobacco Prevention and Control Faces Huge Funding Cut

There have been some recent developments with the State’s Budget in the past few days that I’d like to share with you. An email I sent last week explained that the Tobacco Prevention and Control funding for the next two years may be cut by nearly 40%. This was included in a huge amendment called "Motion 700."

What this means for TPCP that instead of getting roughly $15 million a year, the program would only get about $9.35 million for 2009-10 and a little over $10 million for 2010-2011. See what has happened to other states that have cut tobacco control funding here: WhenStatesCutFundingFactsheet

This is potentially a devastating blow to all of us who have spent so much time an effort working to reduce tobacco use and exposure to Wisconsin residents, helping people find quit resources and helping youth to never become addicted. A snapshot of the success of the program can be seen here: TPCP works!

WE all worked very hard at the Joint Finance Committee hearings to gain back the $1.8 million that was originally cut. But with the economic situation looking more grim than originally forecast, TPCP could face the largest cut since the program began in 2002.

This cut in NOT official. The State Assembly will be debating/voting on the budget starting next week. From there it will move to the Senate. BOTH houses must approve the SAME budget bill in order for it to pass. Finally it would go to the Governor to sign. He does have limited line-item veto power.

On a side note, the $.75 cigarette tax increase was approved by the Joint Finance Committee. Also, this tax increase is NOT official until the budget is approved and signed.

If you’d like more information, the home page of SmokeFree WI has a statement about the situation.www.smokefreewi.org. You can also contact Liz Sanger lsanger@smokefreewi.org for additional info.

Thank you for all you hard work so far!