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.

Monday, July 20, 2009

NH man charged 23 quadrillion dollars for smokes

A little humor in times of budget cuts is sometimes needed. This article ran via the AP on Thursday Jul 16, 9:11 am ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. --“ A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars.
Josh Muszynski (Moo-SIN'-ski) checked his account online a few hours later and saw the 17-digit number--a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars).
Muszynski says he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers and the $15 overdraft fee.
The bank corrected the error the next day.
Bank of America tells WMUR-TV only the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

Now if only we could have used that money for prevention efforts and billed Visa! -emily

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tobacco Funding Cut...Tobacco-Free Familes Bill

As you know, tobacco control funding has been decimated by Wisconsin’s budget process. While most state programs were cut five percent, the tobacco prevention and control program was slashed nearly 55 percent. Every dollar cut from this funding means fewer kids being "immunized" from tobacco companies’ attempts to recruit new customers, smokers going without the resources they need to quit, and an even greater burden of tobacco on Wisconsin.
A bill has been introduced that would restore some of this lost funding.

The Tobacco Free Families Bill, authored by Rep. Jeff Smith, is currently circulating for co-sponsors in both houses of the legislature. If passed, the bill would lower the discount on tobacco tax stamps for tobacco retailers, generating some $2.4 million for the tobacco prevention and control program.

Bill process: Legislators can sign on to sponsor the bill July 31, 2009. The bill will then be turned in to leadership in the Assembly and Senate for a bill number and committee assignment. From there, the bill will likely go to a committee in both the Senate and Assembly, and then to the Joint Finance Committee. If passed out of the committees, the same bill must be passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor before it becomes law.

Editorials and letters to the editor regarding the importance of program funding are highly encouraged.

For a fact sheet about the proposed bill click the link below:

To learn learn what you could do to support this legislation VISIT www.smokefreewi.org and click the "Take Action" tab.

For the list of current legislators who are co-sponsoring the bill, contact Emily at edieringer@co.winnebago.wi.us

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Winnebago County Coroner and Tobacco-Free & Drug-Free Communities Leadership Committee Member raises awareness!

I have been Winnebago County Coroner for over 12 years. I have been involved in presentations to alert citizens of different tragedies/abusive behaviors and other serious issues in order to educate citizens and increase their safety. I am compelled at this time to share what I have seen recently in regard to alcohol related fatalities, the word has to get out! In 2007 there were 41,059 nationwide fatalities overall. Out of those 15, 387 were alcohol related which is 37%. In 2007, Wisconsin had 737 fatalities of which 337 were alcohol related (46%) which is the among the highest among all states. Winnebago County had 15 fatalities and 9 of those were alcohol related (60%). Operating a vehicle under the influence has destroyed too many families. Families that will never be able to talk see or spend time with the deceased because someone has made a terrible error in judgment. If a person who drives drunk and kills somebody lives, that person has nothing to look forward to but prison, but their family can still visit them in jail. However, families who lose a loved one will never see them again. I work with these families and see their pain. I am not promoting prohibition, I do not want to put taverns out of business…I am just saying If you are going to drink, please know how alcohol affects your body. Please know your limits!

Things to consider:
Size of drink
Food intake while drinking
# of drinks per hour/ rate of consumptiono
WHO IS DRIVING HOME?(designated driver, cab companies)

I am associated with the Tobacco-Free & Drug-Free Communities Coalition of Winnebago County. Visit this local group’s booth at Country USA or Waterfest where you can learn more about the amount of time it takes to reach 0.0 BAC after drinking. We need to educate citizens, support law enforcement’s efforts, call for legislators to toughen the laws related to OWI and judges need to hand down stiffer penalties for drunk drivers. We need to cut the losses on the highways and streets at every level.

What can you do?
Contact your legislators to ask for stricter penalties, they will listen. http://www.legis.state.wi.us/
If you are with someone who has consumed too much alcohol, don’t let them get behind the wheel.Have a sober driver take them home or call a cab.
If you see someone driving impaired call 911 immediately
Plan ahead and drink responsibly
If you are as passionate as me about this issue, contact Lisa Brown (920) 232-3009 of the Tobacco-Free & Drug-Free Coalition of Winnebago County at the County Health Department www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html
Submitted by Winnebago County Coroner Barry L. Busby