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, August 31, 2011

Smoking While Pregnant = Asthma?

When it comes to the effects of smoking, the most delicate time for a child's genetic development is before birth.

A new study found that exposure to tobacco smoke in utero was far more likely to cause severe asthma than exposure during the first two years of life. Children suffering with severe asthma were more than three times more likely to have been exposed to smoke before birth than kids with milder forms of the disease.

The study, to be released in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics, sought to find when tobaccco smoke exposure had the greatest consequences: before birth, from birth to age 2, or at the moment of the child's symptoms. The only factor that actually had an impact of the severity of a child's asthma was whether the mother smoked during pregnancy.

Nationwide, the annual cost of asthma is estimated at about $56 billion in premature deaths, health care costs and missed work and school days.

Sadly, nearly 14% of American women continue to smoke thoughout pregnancy.

Full article can be read here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Employers Turn to Tobacco Screening

A trend has hit many companies across the nation as health care cost continue to "sky-rocket". Companies have turned to a tobacco screen. Simply put, a swab is placed into the subject's mouth. This swab collects saliva, which it analyzes to see if the person is a smoker or not. The test last about 5 minutes, and consists of sticking a "toothbrushed" shape swab between the cheek and gum.

The advantage is that if the employee is found to be a non-smoker, they are entitled to a lower health care plan. A saving of up to $600 annually. The test cost can be rather expensive, up to $100 per test.

Concerns range from "what's next...obesity/alcohol/etc" to "is big brother watching us?". But the overall answer is how can we work together to save money. In today's unstable economy, any savings or lower costs seem to grab out attention.

For more information: http://www.twincities.com/news/ci_18713559?source=rss

Monday, August 15, 2011

Time for a Change

We all know that time brings change. Gone are the days of seeing kids across the street from the High School smoking cigarettes. Big Tobacco has "new & impoved" versions of cigarettes. No longer do kids wish to stick tobacco in their mouths and blow out smoke. It draws attention and quite frankly it's "not cool". So along comes other tobacco products (OTP's) that come in any flavor you can imagine. Even the appearance has changed, cigarettes have been replaced with orbs, sticks, strips, and pouches....just to name a few. They haven't changed the product--still tobacco. And the outcome remains the same.....sickness, cancer, even death!

Check out what's happening in Colorado, get ready for a new "fight".

Monday, August 8, 2011

Waking up with a Cigarette?

Smokers who indulge in their first cigarette shortly after waking up have an increased risk of developing lung and head and neck cancers, according to two new studies published in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society. The findings may help identify smokers who have a greater risk of developing cancer.

Subjects who smoked their first cigarette between 31 and 60 minutes after waking up were more than 30% more likely to develop lung cancer; the odds increased to nearly 80% for those who smoked in their first half-hour awake. For head and neck cancers, subjects were more than 40% more likely if they indulged in the 31-60 minute window, and nearly 60% more likely for those who smoked in their first half-hour awake.

The half-life of nicotine is relatively short- only two hours - so after six or eight hours of sleep, your body has gotten rid of nearly all of the nicotine you've inhaled the day before. There's very little left in the body in the morning and the receptors in the brain are crying out for more nicotine. Those who are the most dependent need that cigarette earlier, and often smoke more cigarettes throughout the day, more intensely.

For more info, click the link below:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Big Tobacco: Influencing Lawmakers, Harming Health of the Public

A few news stories came out recently exposing how Big Tobacco has been using millions of dollars to influence lawmakers and laws in Californina and New Hampshire. These are just two examples of the tobacco industry's power and control over politics and ultimately, the public's health.

According to an American Heart Association study, the tobacco industry spent $9.3 million during the past two years to fight cigarette taxes, support candidates and influence politics in California. And in the past 10 years, Big T has spent almost $100 million ($50 million coming from Phillip Morris) in hopes to oppose bills to tax changes and endorse tobacco-industry-friendly candidates. Read more here.

In New Hampshire, lawmakers supportive of a 10-cent DECREASE to cigarette taxes claimed that they were trying to raise revenue by lowing the cost of cigarettes to bring in smokers from neighboring states. Logically flawed thinking is what it is! "New Hampshire, at $1.78, already had the lowest cigarette tax rate by far. Maine's tobacco tax is $2 a pack, Massachusetts $2.51 and Vermont is $2.61 a pack. It was hard to see what difference lowering it to $1.68 would make."

And to top it off, what this actually turned in to, of course, is a profit boost for the tobacco industy. According to The Portsmouth Herald and seacoastonline.com as soon as the decrese went into effect, the tobacco companies raised prices.

Have you noticed that cigarette prices in WI have increased recentlly too?!? And it has NOTHING to do with a tax increase (the last state tax increase went into effect in September of 2009 and the last federal tax increase went into effect in March of 2009). All in an effort to make more money for their shareholders, regardless of how many kids they addict or how many adults die from tobacco-related diseases.

The greed of the tobacco industry is dispicable.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Facts and Figures

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin held a meeting in Washington DC on July 28th, the topic was "Cessation in High Risk Populations". Out of this meeting, came a few new facts that caught my attention. Here's just a few:

Smoking rates: w/college education 10%
if below the poverty level 30%

suffer from a mental illness 39%

dependent on alcohol 50%

Approximately half of the 443,000 annual tobacco-related deaths in the US are among people with mental illness and/or addictions; and they consume 44% of the cigarettes in the US

There are 46 million smokers in the US; 70% want to quit; 45% will try this year. In comparison, China has 350 million smokers...only 13% plan to quit.

The numbers continue to be staggering, but the fight remains the same.