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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Several News Stories Released by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

There were a few different news briefs released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this week regarding smoking rates, quitting and smoke-free air implementation. Below are the summarys. Click the embedded links for the full stories. I'll post more on the $9 million grant to WI next week.--Emily

CDC Report Finds U.S. Adult Smoking Rate Stagnating
A new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the U.S. adult smoking rate remained relatively unchanged in 2008, with approximately one in five adults reporting that they currently smoke, AHA News Now reports. Based on an analysis of data drawn from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey, the researchers found that the national smoking rate declined from 24.1 percent of the population in 1998 to 20.6 percent in 2008. However, the report also notes that year-to-year decreases have been sporadic.

Meanwhile, the report finds that smoking rates vary significantly by race and ethnicity, with Asians registering the lowest smoking rates at just 9.9 percent, followed by Hispanics at 15.8 percent, non-Hispanic Blacks at 21.3 percent and non-Hispanic Whites at 22 percent. American Indians/Alaska Natives registered the highest rates of current smokers at 32.4 percent of that population. The report also suggested that education appears to be a strong predictor of smoking rates. For example, smoking prevalence was 41.3 percent among individuals with a General Educational Development certificate, 27.5 percent among those with a high school diploma, and just 5.7 percent among individuals with a graduate degree. Examining smoking trends based on geographical location, meanwhile, the report finds that the U.S. Virgin Islands recorded the lowest smoking rate at 6.5 percent, while West Virginia had the highest at 26.6 percent.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that "evidence-based programs known to be effective at reducing smoking should be intensified among groups with lower education" and that health providers should consider the education-level of patients when providing information about smoking cessation (AHA News Now, 11/12/09; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, 11/13/09).

Wisconsin Receives Federal Funding for Smoking Cessation
Wisconsin health officials have received $9 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health to launch a new smoking cessation study, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Slated to launch next spring, the study will provide smoking cessation counseling and aids to approximately 2,300 smokers at clinics in south and central Wisconsin. Acknowledging that many current smokers are interested in quitting, the director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention said that the study would allow efforts to "meet smokers where they are in terms of their willingness to try quitting" (Fauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/12/09).

North Carolina Officials Debate How to Implement Smoking Ban
As North Carolina prepares to implement a statewide smoking ban, local health officials are determining what, if any, additional restrictions they should impose, the Star News Online reports. Slated to take effect January 2, the law will prohibit smoking in most bars and restaurants and allow cities and counties to extend the smoking ban through their own ordinances. However, the law prohibits local bans from including private homes, private vehicles, tobacco shops, private clubs and actors smoking in performances. Previously, individual cities and counties were only authorized to implement smoking bans inside local government buildings, in the immediate surroundings of departments of health and social services, and on public transportation. In anticipation of the new law, the Brunswick County board of health plans to hold a series of meetings to discuss whether to make the county complex in Bolivia smoke-free, and officials in New Hanover and Pender are expected to debate similar measures. Brunswick County is also said to be considering an extension of the smoking ban to include all of the county's parks and recreation spaces (Eckenrode, Star News Online, 11/10/09).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Most Popular Day For Underage Drinking Surprises Many Parents

Study finds prom and graduation season not as popular as once thought

[Winnebago County]-Traditionally, it is assumed that underage drinking peeks around prom and graduation seasons. However, a study conducted by the UDETC (Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center) showed that drinking underage most frequently occurs on the night before Thanksgiving. The Tobacco-Free & Drug-Free Communities Coalition is concerned with the findings of this study because Wisconsin high school students drink at a higher rate than the national average. The June 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that while the national underage drinking rate is 37%, Wisconsin’s underage drinking rate is 49%. The Coalition has identified risk factors that are present in our community that contribute to this trend.

The contributing factors are:
Access Older siblings and college age friends are all home for the holidays. They are often the ones who buy and furnish alcohol for teens.

Availability: Refrigerators are stocked and readied with alcohol for family parties.

Time: School is out. Teens have plenty of down time to hangout and engage in risky behavior.

Adult Modeling: Adult role models intermingle drinking with the hunting sport.

Underage drinkers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors putting themselves in danger of drunk driving fatalities, crimes, neurological brain damage, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, and addiction.
This holiday season, parents and adults have an opportunity to establish strong family traditions that are not geared around drinking with a few simple steps. First, take time to divert teen alcohol use by promoting alcohol-free youth activities. Second, consider where the alcohol is stocked in your home and ensure it is locked up to minimize access. Finally, be a positive role model and limit your own alcohol intake.The Coalition reminds parents they do not have to tolerate underage alcohol use. If parents communicate their expectations on drinking to their teen agers, we can reduce alcohol related problems with youth this holiday season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Report on Impact of Smoking Bans on Heart Attacks

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report confirming evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease. Additionally, scientific evidence suggests that smokefree laws prevent heart attacks and save lives.

In its 2009 report, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence, the committee concludes that data consistently demonstrates that secondhand-smoke exposure increases the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks and that smoking bans reduce this risk. Given the prevalence of heart attacks, and the resultant deaths, smoking bans can have a substantial impact on public health.

Another article that describes two of the studies that were in the report (one report from Circulation and one from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8267523.stm

ONLY 242 days until Wisconsin goes SMOKE-FREE!

happy breathing,