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 Melissa.Moore@co.marathon.wi.us.

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.