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, September 21, 2011

To Check or Not to Check.......?

That seems to be the question when it comes to ID's.

As a youth volunteer enters a tobacco retailer while doing our WI Wins compliance checks they have their ID's ready for display. When the employee doesn't ask, the youth leaves with a face of shock. Other times the clerk asks for the ID, after "checking" the ID, they decided to sell tobacco anyways....what we call a math error. Usually the clerk just didn't take the time to determine the teens age. So which scenario happens more often? Well that happened to be a question at our latest MJC "Mega-Meeting"....and now we have the answer!

For our MJC area, 62% of the time the employee simply didn't ask for an ID. There were 12 incidents (out of 32) where the clerk "checked" the ID, but then completed a sale of tobacco to the youth. It could be a variety of reasons for the sale to occur, however most of the time its due to the clerk making a error with the date of birth.

Individually, each county was different. In Sheboygan Co., 100% of sales were due to the clerk not asking for an ID. Manitowoc Co. clerks asked, but made a mistake 88% of the time when a sale occurred. While Winnebago Co. was more equal, with 60% of the sales being attributed to an error being made with the date of birth. Door and Kewaunee have NO SALES so far this year.

When it comes to statewide stats, its a "coin-flip". Of the 467 sales in Wisconsin, 52% of them where due to a "ID checking error". And what about the clerks that just don't ask.....that happen 48% of the time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Study Shows Significant Rise in Cigar Use Among Young Adults

A study released in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health measures brand usage trends and the prevelance of cigar use among specific populations. The study is the first of its kind.

Cigars and cigarillos have become an emerging issue in tobacco control in recent years, in part because of their appeal to young people through lower prices and sweet flavors. Little cigars are similar in size and appearance to cigarettes. Cigarettes are wrapped in white paper, while little cigars are wrapped in brown paper, which contains some tobacco leaf. Increased use of these products is a concern, as users believe that cigarillos and little cigars are less harmful than cigarettes. However, like cigarettes, cigars pose significant health risks.

The top five brands were Black & Mild, Swisher Sweets, Phillies, White Owl, and Garcia Y Vega, all of which are primarily cigarillos or little cigar products. Use of these brands was most prevelant with younger, male, black non-hispanics, with a propensity for risk behavior, and those reporting current cigarette, marijuana, and blunt use.

Cigars continue to come in a variety of flavors, such as cherry, chocolate, vanilla, peach, rum, raspberry, and sour apple. Additionally, packaging on these products does not always carry a warning label, and so health warnings may go unnoticed by cigar users.

Full article can be read: http://www.legacyforhealth.org/4697.aspx

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U.S. Dept of Transportation Proposes Ban on Electronic Cigarettes on Aircraft

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the Department of Transportation is proposing to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes on aircraft.
“Airline passengers have rights, and this new rule would enhance passenger comfort and reduce any confusion surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes in flight,” said Secretary LaHood.

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in today’s Federal Register would clarify that the airline smoking rule prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes and similar products, as tobacco products are now prohibited. Electronic cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to the smoker in the form of a vapor.

Electronic cigarettes cause potential concern because there is a lack of scientific data and knowledge of the ingredients in electronic cigarettes. The Department views its current regulatory ban on smoking of tobacco products to be sufficiently broad to include the use of electronic cigarettes. The Department is taking this action to eliminate any confusion over whether the Department’s ban includes electronic cigarettes. The proposal would apply to all scheduled flights of U.S. and foreign carriers involving transportation to and from the U.S.
Amtrak has banned the use of electronic smoking devices on trains and in any area where smoking is prohibited. The Air Force Surgeon General issued a memorandum highlighting the safety concerns regarding electronic cigarettes and placed them in the same category as tobacco products. The U.S Navy has banned electronic cigarettes below decks in submarines. Further, several states have taken steps to ban either the sale or use of electronic cigarettes.

This NPRM proposes an explicit ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in all forms, including but not limited to electronic cigars, pipes and devices designed to look like everyday products such as pens. The ban does not include the use of a device such as a nebulizer that delivers a medically beneficial substance to a user in the form of a vapor.

The Department is also considering whether to extend the ban on smoking, including electronic cigarettes, to charter flights of U.S. carriers and foreign air carriers with aircraft that have a designed seating capacity of 19 or more passenger seats.

The rulemaking proposed today is a part of the Department's broader effort to strengthen airline passenger rights and improve information available to the public.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Smokeless Marketing Doubled

The Federal Trade Commission reported that smokeless tobacco marketing increased from $354.1 million in 2006 to $411.3 million in 2007 and $547.9 million in 2008. When measured from 2005, smokeless tobacco marketing has more than doubled, from $250.8 million to $547.9 million.

Counting both cigarette and smokeless tobacco marketing, the tobacco companies spent $10.5 billion on marketing in 2008. That's nearly $29 million per day!! The tobacco industry spends 52% more than in 1998, which was the when the tobacco settlement was enacted. That settlement was suppose to curtail tobacco marketing.

In 2008, tobacco companies spent 20 times more than states currently spend on preventing kids from smoking and helping smokers quit. This huge mismatch between how much tobacco companies spend to encourage tobacco use and how much states spend to discourage is a major contributing factor to the slowing of smoking declines in recent years.

Tobacco use is the nation's number one cause of preventable death, killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year. These deaths and costs are entirely preventable if elected officials at all levels fight tobacco use as aggressively as the tobacco companies market their deadly products.

Full article below: