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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

E-Cigarettes and Wisconsin's Smoke Free Air Law

I recently received a phone call from a woman confused about e-cigarettes. While taking her grandchildren to lunch she noticed people using e-cigarettes inside the building, the same building her grandchildren were eating and playing. She didn’t think e-cigarettes were allowed indoors and after asking the manager, she was told the truth, e-cigarettes are not covered under the Wisconsin Smoke Free Air Law.

So what are e-cigarettes? Whether an e-cigarette looks like a cigarette, a pen, or something completely different, the basic structure remains the same (see photo).

Like traditional cigarettes, the user is not the only person affected by e-cigarette use. The aerosol or “vapor” from e-cigarettes has been found to contain harmful substances like nicotine, propylene glycol, arsenic, aluminum, and lead. Propylene glycol is a known “food grade” substance used to absorb extra water and retain moisture in medicine, cosmetics, and food. While small amounts can be eaten safely, it has not been proven safe when inhaled. Unlike the stomach, lungs do not have acid to break down food and/or chemicals. Most of us can remember accidently inhaling water and the coughing fit that followed. Our bodies know what the lungs need and crave… clean air.

In 2014 Wisconsin reported the lowest smoking rates ever in adults and youth, however, at the same time reports also came in showing a drastic rise in e-cigarette use. Using e-cigarettes indoors re-normalizes smoking. Youth today have never seen a tobacco ad on TV and can barely remember when people could smoke inside public places. E-cigarettes use indoors has the potential to reverse decades of progress in preventing tobacco use and addiction to nicotine.

E-cigarettes are new, unregulated products and the long term effects of use are still unknown. What we do know is e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is an addictive substance, they give off an aerosol containing harmful substances, and they threaten our ever popular State-wide Smoke Free Air Law.

State prevention experts agree, we need to let scientists and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do more research on e-cigarettes and until we know more, we need to keep e-cigarettes out of public places.


Thursday, December 11, 2014


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hookah is defined as a water pipe. The below picture shows a basic example and the parts of a hookah water pipe. 
(photo from www.cdc.gov)

The tobacco used in hookah is called shisha. Shisha is a moist, sticky tobacco that comes in a variety of flavor. The shisha is heated and burned in the head of the hookah by charcoal. The smoke from the burning shisha and charcoal then travels down the length of the body into the water bowl where the smoke is cooled. A hookah user inhales through the mouthpiece and the cooled smoke travels through the hose and mouth piece into the users lungs.

Because the smoke enters a water bowl before the user inhales people believe smoking hookah is a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigars or cigarettes and the smoke is "filtered" through the water. When in reality the water only cools the smoke, making it easier to inhale.

Smoking hookah is extremely harmful for the lungs. A World Health Organization report showed that about an hour of smoking hookah is as bad for our health as smoking 5 packs of cigarettes (100 cigarettes). And if that isn't scary enough, we've seen a huge increase in the amount of youth and young adults using hookah.

Studies done in the past years have increasing popularity of hookah, 40% of college students have ever smoked hookah. Hookah appeals to young people in a way that is different from traditional tobacco like cigarettes and cigars.

Tobacco Free Florida shared this great, myth busting infographic on hookah smoking based on a survey done by the University of South Florida.

For more information about hookah check out the links below:

The recent articles from Tech Times or Medical Daily