Tobacco News – February 1, 2018

Coalition Business

The Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition had a steering committee meeting on January 5th to discuss 2018 initiatives. The next meeting will be April 20th at the Portage County Health Department at 10:00AM. A majority of activities this year will focus on identifying and eliminating tobacco related disparities in order to achieve health equity. For more information on health equity and social and economic factors that affect health click HERE. Some new initiatives for 2018 will focus on tobacco-free outdoor spaces and tobacco use in behavioral health systems.

Other meetings that CWTFC will have representation at this month and early March are listed below. If you wish to attend or would like more information on those contact Jenna Otterholt at or 715-261-1931.

Marathon County Behavioral Health |February 16th, 2018|12:00PM-1:30PM|Marathon County Health Department

Wood County AOD Prevention Partnership |March 1st, 2018|10:30AM-12:00PM|Wood County Health Department

Coalition News

WINS Update

Wisconsin Wins data has been compiled and reported for 2017. Wisconsin Wins is a state-mandated initiative that aims to reduce youth access to tobacco and nicotine-containing products to protect our youth from becoming addicted to these products. Thank you to the retailers who do not sell tobacco and nicotine products to our area youth! For more information, please visit Retailers can provide employees free training on how to check IDs at

  • Sales to Marathon County minors decreased from 13% in 2016 to 8% in 2017
  • Sales to Portage County minors increased from 13% in 2016 to 18% in 2017
  • Sales to Wood County minors remained at 11% in 2016 and 2017

Wisconsin Wins

Survey Update

The 2017 Marathon County Youth Risk Behavior Survey has been released.  To read about youth tobacco use trends in the area visit

Tobacco News

National Academies Report on E-Cigarettes Shows Need for FDA Regulation

Based on the findings, long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are not yet clear. Among youth, who use e-cigarettes at higher rates than adults do, there is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes.

While e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely to be less harmful than conventional cigarettes, the report says. Using e-cigarettes may help adults who smoke conventional cigarettes quit smoking. However, their long-term health effects are not yet clear.

To read the full article click HERE.

Other Tobacco News

Commentary: Philip Morris Says It Wats to Quit Cigarettes But It’s Just Blowing Smoke

To read the full article click HERE.

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

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