Tobacco News- January 1, 2018

Coalition Business

The Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition has a new coordinator! Jenna Otterholt began in October and has been getting oriented to the program and preparing for 2018 initiatives. We give Jenna a warm welcome! The steering committee will be meeting in early January to outline next steps for the coalition. A date for the next coalition meeting will be announced soon. Jenna can be reached at or 715-261-1931. We thank you for your patience as we transitioned coordinators in 2017.

Coalition News

The City of Wausau Parks and Recreation Commission voted in November to move a Smoke-Free Parks ordinance forward to City Council. The Wausau City Council opposed the policy on a 5-6 vote. For general information on smoke-free parks, visit View a clip from the City of Wausau Parks and Recreation Commission meeting HERE.

Tobacco News

There is a new tobacco product that is gaining popularity among teens called JUUL. The e-cigarette device looks like a USB flash drive and is charged in a computer or laptop. They also come in kid-friendly flavors like mango, cool mint, fruit medley and crème brulee.

Check out the store locator on JUUL’s website to see if there are any stores in your area that carry the product. Here’s an article from NPR that talks about how teenagers are embracing JUUL and saying it’s discreet enough to vape in class. There is a growing concern in schools about the use of this product right here in Wisconsin.

Other Tobacco News

New Survey Shows Youth Cigarette Smoking Continues to Fall, But Raises Fresh Concerns about E-Cigarettes and Cigars

The 2017 Monitoring the Future survey released today shows that youth cigarette smoking continues to fall, but raises fresh concerns about the popularity of electronic cigarettes and cigars among youth. The survey found that far more 12th graders vaped e-cigarettes than smoked regular cigarettes in the previous 30 days – 16.6 percent reported any vaping, including 11 percent who reported vaping nicotine, versus 9.7 percent who smoked cigarettes. In addition, more 12th graders reported smoking flavored little cigars than cigarettes – 10.1 percent to 9.7 percent.

CDC Report on Tobacco Use among American Indians (AI) and Alaska Natives (AN)

During 2010–2015, current (past 30-day) tobacco-product use was significantly higher among AI/ANs than non-AI/ANs for any tobacco product (43.3 percent vs. 27.7 percent); for cigarettes (37.3 percent vs. 23.0 percent); for roll-your-own tobacco (7.1 percent vs. 3.5 percent); for pipes (1.9 percent vs. 0.9 percent); and for smokeless tobacco (6.6 percent vs. 3.5 percent). Read more HERE.

Tobacco News- September 1, 2017

Coalition Business

The fall Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition meeting is TBD. When a new hire is made, the coalition coordinator will schedule the next meeting.

Interim coordinator will be out on maternity leave within the next few weeks. Any gap between the interim coordinator and new hire will be covered by Melissa Moore, Drug Free Communities Coordinator at the Marathon County Health Department. She can be reached at

Coalition News

Interim Coalition Coordinator, Samantha Pinzl, was interviewed by WAOW Channel 9 on Smoke-Free Parks. To view this interview click here.

Tobacco News

The Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank released a video titled Tobacco: Honoring our Traditions and our Health. This video highlights tobacco prevention efforts in Wisconsin Tribal Communities. The video discusses the importance of reclaiming traditional tobacco and highlights successful smoke-free initiatives in Wisconsin tribal communities, including an outdoor Ojibwe cultural event center and a Ho-Chunk gaming casino that have implemented smoke-free policies.

Local Data Release

A new report available from the UW-Milwaukee Center for Urban Population and Health provides county-level data for lives lost to smoking from 2011-2015. This report shows tobacco’s local impact on Wisconsin. You can read the report here.

Other Tobacco News

Maine Becomes Fourth State to Raise Tobacco Age to 21

Maine provides another significant boost for the growing, nationwide movement to increase the tobacco age to 21. Tobacco 21 laws have also been enacted by California, Hawaii, New Jersey and at least 255 cities and counties, including New York City, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis and both Kansas Cities. The Oregon Legislature approved a Tobacco 21 bill last month, and Gov. Kate Brown has indicated she will sign it into law. Massachusetts lawmakers should quickly approve similar legislation pending there.

Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all tobacco use begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. We know that about 95 percent of adult smokers began smoking before they turned 21. Increasing the tobacco age will help counter the industry’s efforts to target young people at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking. In Maine alone, tobacco companies spend over $42 million a year to market their deadly and addictive products. This legislation will also help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.  

A 2015 report by the prestigious Institute of Medicine (now called the National Academy of Medicine) concluded that increasing the tobacco age to 21 will significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking, with immediate and long-term benefits for the nation’s health.

Tobacco News – August 4th, 2017

Coalition Business 

The job posting for the new Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition Coordinator has been closed. Applications will be reviewed and interviews conducted in the coming weeks. We will keep you posted when a new hire is made.

Our Interim coordinator, Samantha Pinzl, was interviewed on the recent FDA report to lower the nicotine level in cigarettes, to view this interview click here.

Tobacco News

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made an announcement about wanting to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes to make them less addictive.  If this proposal is successful, it would be the first time the government has tried to get Americans to quit beyond warning labels or increased cigarette tax. This could take years to enact.

The second announcement made by the FDA is the four year delay the regulation of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes — the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users.” The comprehensive plan aims to eventually wean smokers off conventional cigarettes and steer them towards less harmful alternatives such as vaping.

There are some concerns with delaying the regulation on e-cigarettes, but Gottlieb said it is because more time is needed to set the proper foundation for supervising such products.

Read more on the FDA report click here.

Other Tobacco News

Oregon Will be Third State to Raise Tobacco Age to 21

Oregon Legislature has taken bold action to protect children from tobacco addiction by voting to prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under 21. Lawmakers gave final approval to the bill Thursday July 6th, 2017. Governor Kate Brown has indicated she will sign it into law. Oregon will be the third state in the nation to increase the tobacco age to 21, joining California and Hawaii.

What are the benefits?

Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will reduce tobacco among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all tobacco use begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. About 95 percent of smokers began smoking before they turned 21. Increasing the tobacco age will help to combat the industry’s effort to target younger people when they are at a critical time in their life and may move from experimenting with tobacco to smoking tobacco on a regular basis. In Wisconsin alone, an estimated $155.8 million dollars are spent each year on marketing their deadly and addictive products.

A 2015 report by the National Academy of Medicine, formerly, Institute of Medicine, stated that by increasing the tobacco age to 21, adolescents and young adults who start smoking will significantly decrease. This will create immediate and long-term benefits for the nation’s health.

Image result for states with 21 tobacco age


San Francisco to Ban Sales of Vaping Flavored Liquid

City officials in San Francisco unanimously approved the ban of sale for flavored nicotine-laced liquid used in electronic cigarettes and flavored tobacco products. There are a variety of flavored tobacco products including cotton candy, banana cream, and mint. Flavored tobacco entices children into a lifetime of addiction. Supervisor Malia Cohen, who sponsored the bill states, “We’re focused on flavored projects because they are widely considered to be a starter product for future smokers.”  The law will take effect in April 2018.

Read more about San Francisco’s ban on vaping flavored liquid click here


America’s New Tobacco Crisis: The Rich Stopped Smoking, The Poor Didn’t

After decades of public action through campaigns and lawsuits, most of the country has quit smoking, saving millions of lives and leading to great reductions in cancer.

Unfortunately, Americans who are poor, uneducated, or live in rural areas may not fall under those who have quit smoking. Hidden among the steady decline of smokers in recent years, the socioeconomic gap has continued to grow, despite smoking rates in adults falling to just 15 percent.

Among the nation’s less-educated people – those with a high school equivalency diploma – the smoking rate remains above 40 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  By nearly every statistical measure, researchers say, America’s lower class now smokes more and dies more from cigarettes than any other Americans.

This gap between classes has many health consequences; many cigarette companies are refocusing their marketing on lower socioeconomic communities. Nonprofit groups have reworked their programs in hopes to reach this marginalized group.

To read more about this issue and how policies can make a large impact on tobacco control in health equity, click here.

Tobacco News- June 30, 2017

Coalition News

Our coalition recently submitted a letter to the editor on Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air Law anniversary. This Wednesday, July 5th, marks the seventh anniversary of Wisconsin’s Smoke-Free Air Law, a great public health victory in Wisconsin. We can go to a restaurant and enjoy dinner in a healthy environment without the smell of tobacco smoke following us home! Take time on July 5th to reflect on all of the hard work that went into this huge accomplishment and to celebrate our clean air.

In other news, the FACT group recently celebrated their hard work with an end of the year celebration and recognized Adileen for her dedication and accomplishments in the Wisconsin Rapids FACT group. FACT also held an informational meeting on June 9th and now has 24 new members!

Click to watch Adileen’s video!

Tobacco News

Youth tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, drop during 2015-2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the national number of middle and high school students who say they have used tobacco during the last 30 days has now dropped from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016.

A contributor to the decline of tobacco products was because of a national drop in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students – 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million in 2016. While Wisconsin did see youth decreases for combustible cigarettes in 2016, e-cigarette rates for Wisconsin middle and high school students actually went up. You can view the 2016 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey fact sheets at

Although the downtrend of tobacco use is a step in the right direction, tobacco use by adolescents is still a major priority in the United States. Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. What steps are being taken to help aide the reduction in youth tobacco users?

“The Real Cost” campaign by the FDA, which uses science-based education, and has prevented nearly 350,000 adolescents from smoking cigarettes, and continues to reinforce the importance of youth access restrictions. Another change that has played a role the decline of tobacco use was the FDA enforcing new federal regulations which has made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco to anyone under 18 in person or online, this was enforced on August 8th, 2016.

Other strategies to reduce the number of youth tobacco users also include increasing prices of tobacco products, hard-hitting media campaigns that raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, and regulating the marketing of tobacco products.

To learn more about quitting and preventing youth from using tobacco products, visit

Tobacco News June 13th, 2017

Coalition Business

Tobacco Coalition Coordinator, Destinee Coenen, is no longer employed with the Marathon County Health Department. We wish her family well during their move. Recruitment for this position will begin this summer, with hopes to have a coordinator on board by September 2017. Future Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition meeting dates are to be determined. We plan to have the new coordinator hold a meeting this fall. Thank you Destinee for all of your hard work and contributions in creating a safer, smoke-free environment in Central Wisconsin, you will be missed.

The interim coalition coordinator is Samantha Pinzl from the Marathon County Health Department. She can be reached at


Tobacco News

Improving Health Through the Power of Law

Six Canadian Provinces passed legislation to prohibit the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes in 2015. Two years later, more than 80 percent of Canadian population was covered under menthol restrictions.
In this legislation, Canadian government amends the Tobacco Act and prohibits the use of menthol in all cigarettes, blunt wraps, and most cigars sold in Canada. The law was finalized on April 5th, 2017 and will be taking effect on October 2nd, 2017.

What can the United States learn from the global leaders to the north of us in taking on the problem of regulating menthol tobacco? Understanding that the demographics as well as government structure between the United States and Canada are vastly different, there is a common shared concern for the high prevalence of menthol tobacco products.

To read more click here


Other Tobacco News

Death, Disease, and Tobacco


From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Throughout history, the world has been effected by many epidemics of communicable diseases. More recently, the fight against non-communicable diseases have been governing health in high-income counties for the past century. The epidemics include lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other disorders caused by tobacco smoking.
The health impact of the global tobacco epidemic shows that more than one in ten deaths worldwide is caused by smoking, killing more than 6 million people.

Read more by clicking here