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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Made in the USA: Child Labor and Tobacco

Dangerous farming equipment, extreme temperatures, exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides, very low pay, young kids working 12+ hour days. Sounds like the description of cheap labor on foreign farms that produce as much as they can at the lowest possible cost- despite the impact on the employees.

That is exactly what is happening, only it's NOT foreign.
It's happening right here in the United States.

In Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia U.S. tobacco farms are employing children as young as 12 years old to work on tobacco farms. And all the big tobacco manufacturers and merchants are benefiting from buying the product. Alliance One, Altria (Philip Morris), British American Tobacco, China National Tobacco, Japan Tobacco Group, Lorillard, Philip Morris International, Reynolds American, Universal Corporation.

In an 8-minute documentary by Human Rights Watch (video below) called: US: Child Workers in Danger on Tobacco Farms, the harsh conditions and workers on these tobacco farms are shown.

With good intentions the "made in the U.S.A." movement spreading throughout the country is partially focused on stopping child labor. Instead of buying from other countries, we look for products made in the U.S.A. with a focus on supporting American jobs, the American economy, and saying no to foreign child labor. Unfortunately, exploiting children isn't exclusive to other countries. It's happening right here in the U.S.A.

Big tobacco profits from child labor in US tobacco fields. Take action now:  http://www.hrw.org/ChildFreeTobacco %23ChildFreeTobacco

So what can we do? How can we help?

Watch the documentary. Share the story. Talk with family and friends about the importance of kids being in school. Keep working to reduce tobacco use throughout the U.S.A. and the world. If the demand for tobacco goes away, there will be no need for the supply. Which in turn means there will be no need for cheap labor to produce it (ie. kids).

For more information on the topic take a look at the Human Rights Watch article,
US: Child Workers in Danger on Tobacco Farms | Human Rights Watch. (2014, May 14).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quit Help at CVS Health

Every time I think about CVS making the decision to remove tobacco from the power wall I get a surge of excitement! What a great step towards healthier communities!

Almost a month before the planned day to remove tobacco from shelves at CVS, tobacco disappeared from CVS shelves last week on September 3, 2014.

I have been asked, "what do you think will replace the tobacco products behind the counter?" a few times and was waiting to see what would happen. Would they move other products to fill the space? Magazines? Candy? What would it be like? At my local CVS store and all around the country, the change was incredible. Take a look at the photo I took at the Neenah CVS last week. The perfect replacement of tobacco- quit encouragement and help!

CVS is making a difference in our communities by promoting help to quit smoking and creating a healthier environment. You can spread the word and support CVS in their effort to make a healthier environment. Just grab a piece of paper and write out your #OneGoodReason to stay tobacco free. Take a photo of your reason and share it. Follow #OneGoodReason on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to see what other reasons people have to stay tobacco free

Take a look at our FACT youth (Calista, Ally, and Jamie) and advisers (Anna and Brenna) below. There are thousands of reasons to stay tobacco free. What's your #OneGoodReason

Thanks CVS. We are with you. Rock on!