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Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Indy’s Premier Jazz Club Goes Smoke-Free

In State News on June 30, 2009 at 9:13 am

Indy’s Premier Jazz Club, The Jazz Kitchen will now be a smoke-free venue. David Allee, owner of the club, made the announcement that beginning June 24, The Jazz Kitchen would be totally smoke-free. The decision was made not only to protect the workers, but to provide a safe environment for their patrons. This is seen as a victory for all the organizations and volunteers that continue to work hard for smoke-free, safe environments for all Hoosiers.

The Jazz Kitchen will provide the best in music entertainment in an environment that will enhance the audience’s experience. This change comes at a great time for The Jazz Kitchen. Chef Victor Ruiz will roll out new summer menu items to compliment their traditional favorites. They have also re-vamped the bar menu to include a few new unique cocktails and a new wine list.

“I decided to make The Jazz Kitchen a safe, smoke-free venue because I want to attract the highest quality bartenders, wait staff , musicians, and DJs to work here. No employee should have to choose between their job and their health. During these economic times it makes sense to offer customers the finest product possible,” says David Allee.

There are two organizations in Indianapolis that have focused exclusively on working toward workplace protection for bartenders, wait staff , musicians, and DJs. Take Note is a grassroots network of volunteers from the music, entertainment and nightclub industry who work together to draw attention to the problem of smoky entertainment venues. Smoke Free Indy represents a group of health and community organizations who advocate for smoke-free policies for all workers in Marion County.

“We applaud The Jazz Kitchen for taking this step in providing a safe atmosphere for their employees, artists and patrons. The decision to make The Jazz Kitchen smoke-free should send a strong message that Indianapolis is ready for a smoke-free future like other first class cities across the U.S.,” said Tim Filler, a Smoke Free Indy volunteer.

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What We’ve Been Up To This Week

In Local News on June 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

The Daviess County TPC coalition has had a booth at the Daviess County Fair all week this week. Several local business have donated items that we are giving away in a survey drawing. People who want to enter the drawing answer a brief questionnaire about smoke-free policies in schools, workplaces, homes, and public places.

The coalition has also been giving away can cozies with the Quitline phone number and information about how to Quit.

On Thursday, the coalition had a booth at the Washington city employee health fair, giving away cozies and Quitline information. Several employees expressed interest in quitting their tobacco use.

Also, in interesting news, Perdue processing plant in Washington has gone smoke free by closing their smoking room and setting up a pavillion for smokers outside. What a great way to protect all the workers in that plant! We congratulate Perdue on this excellent decision.

Support Funding For ITPC

In State News on June 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm

The Indiana Senate budget passed out of Senate Appropriations committee and today is eligible for 2nd reading.

The Senate version of the budget has ITPC’s appropriation at $10,859,308 per year for the next two years. That’s a cut from the $14.5 million per year appropriated to ITPC in the House version of the budget and significantly less than the $16.2 million per year appropriated to ITPC in the present fiscal year’s budget. You can read the budget here.

The budget — HB1001 — is eligible for 2nd reading consideration in the Indiana Senate today. The budget is expected to be out of the Senate by tomorrow.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

1. Contact members of the Indiana Senate TODAY: 317-232-9600 or 800-382-9467.  Ask them to restore funding for ITPC to $14.5 million per year as passed by the Indiana House. If you’re not sure who your state senator is, you can find out here: http://www.in.gov/apps/sos/legislator/search/.

2. Contact Governor Mitch Daniels TODAY and ask him to remain a champion for health issues and tobacco prevention by supporting funding for ITPC at $14.5 million/year for the next biennium. Even in the tough economic times, Indiana cannot afford to neglect investment in tobacco prevention and cessation programs, as these programs are proven to reduce preventable health care costs and save lives. Governor Daniels has been a champion for health care cost savings and improved health by reducing the toll of tobacco in the past and we should ask him to remain a champion now by supporting $14.5M/yr for ITPC for each year of the next biennium. While the $14.5 M/yr is about a 10% cut from the previous fiscal year’s budget, it’s not the severe 33% cut that the Senate has appropriated. You can reach Governor Daniels by telephone at 317-232-4567 or by email at mdaniels@gov.in.gov or via this web form http://www.in.gov/gov/2631.htm.

3. Contact members of the Indiana House and thank them to their commitment to supporting funding for ITPC at $14.5 million/year and to remain steadfast in this support as the budget goes to conference committee later this week.

Dads, Now’s A Great Time To Quit

In Local News on June 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm

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FDA To Regulate Tobacco Products

In National News on June 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

Below is a great news release from our partners at Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids:

The U.S. Congress has delivered a truly historic victory for America’s children and health by approving legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.  President Obama supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law in the near future.

On June 11, 2009, the U.S. Senate voted 79 to 17 to approve the bill, H.R. 1256/S. 982, known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

On June 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 307 to 97 to approve the identical bill.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and U.S. Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Todd Platts (R-PA).

Members of Congress and public health organizations have worked for more than a decade to grant the FDA authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.  This bill will end the special protection the tobacco industry has enjoyed for far too long and protect our nation’s children and health instead.  It represents the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,200 lives are lost and more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers.

Yet, until now, tobacco products have escaped the FDA’s common-sense regulations that apply to other consumer products, such as food, drugs and even lipstick. This legislation will:

Crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids.

Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco products.

Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, as well as changes in products and research about their health effects.

Ban terms such as “light” and “low-tar” that mislead consumers into believing that certain cigarettes are safer.

Strictly regulate all health-related claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and do not discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.

Empower the FDA authority to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients.

This legislation has been endorsed by more than 1,000 public health, faith and other organizations across the country. And it is supported by 70 percent of American voters.

Summer Fun 2

In Local News on June 15, 2009 at 8:39 am

More Summer Fun pictures:

Summer Fun 6

Summer Fun 7

Summer Fun 8

Summer Fun In The Park

In Local News on June 15, 2009 at 8:22 am

For the second year, the city of Washington has sponsored a Summer Fun in the Park program, which offers free activities to elementary and middle school aged children. Various groups and organizations throughout the community volunteer to provide materials and manpower for the activities at Eastside Park.

This past Thursday, the Daviess County TPC Coalition provided chalk walk activities to complement a short lesson about the dangers of tobacco use and about how tobacco companies try to get children to start smoking. The children drew body outlines to represent people who die from using tobacco, and they wrote tobacco facts and slogans around their drawings. Here are some of the results:

Summer Fun 1

 

Summer Fun 2

Summer Fun 3

Summer Fun 4

Smokefree Summer Fun

In Local News on June 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

This year in Indiana, 20 county fairs will have a smokefree day, 2 county fairs will have two smokefree days, and 16 county fairs will be entirely smokefree. Locally, Pike County Fair is entirely smokefree.

The Daviess County Fair is not, but the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition will have a booth there with information about the dangers of tobacco use and the Quitline. They will be collecting surveys about people’s attitudes about smokefree policies and will draw out surveys for donated prizes. They are also providing activities for children at Washington’s Summer Fun in the Park program and for employees of the City of Washington at their annual health fair.

The Pike County TPC Coalition will have a booth at the Relay For Life this Friday, and will present information to children at 4-H Day Camp.

Letter from Sen. Lugar

In Local News, National News, State News on June 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

Here is a letter from Sen. Richard Lugar I received yesterday after I mailed him a letter support FDA regulation of tobacco. There is one inaccuracy: Sen. Lugar states that the smoking rate is 27% in Indiana. The work of ITPC has actually lowered that to 24% in recent years. But we are still over the national average.

Dear Ms. Petty:

Thank you for contacting me to express you support for legislation that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. I am an original co-sponsor of this legislation.

While tobacco products cannot be made safe, I believe it is important that consumers are aware of the potential health consequences of products they purchase and use, as well as uncertain claims that one product may be less detrimental to one’s health than another.

I do not smoke and have long been involved in efforts to encourage Hoosiers and all Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles. Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Hoosiers are less healthy in this particular area than average Americans. Twenty-seven percent of Hoosiers over 18 smoke, while the national average is 21%.

Over the years, I have co-sponsored bills to ban smoking in public transportation, federal buildings, and child care programs. I have supported increased taxes on tobacco products and worked to end federal involvement in the growing of tobacco. The government has sent mixed signals on this issue for years, and it is time that we take steps to clearly state the harmful effects of tobacco use. Again, thank you for sharing your support with me.

Sincerely,
Richard G. Lugar
United States Senator

ITPC Funding May Be Cut

In State News on June 5, 2009 at 7:54 am

In the first state budget Gov. Daniels proposed, ITPC funding was cut from about $16M to $14.5M. When that budget didn’t pass, Daniels proposed another budget that cut ITPC funding to $10.8M. ITPC says they could live with $14.5M but $10.8M would mean drastic cuts in services that save the state billions of dollars in healthcare costs and help thousands of Hoosiers quit using tobacco.

If you feel tobacco cessation services are important — and they are because they save us so much in healthcare costs and keep so many kids from starting to use tobacco in the first place — then call your legislators and let them know that they should not approve less than $14.5M for ITPC.

Here’s a letter that was sent to the Special Joint Budget Committe:

To:    Special Joint Budget Committee
From:  Organizations listed below
Date:  June 4, 2009
RE:   Urgent opposition to drastic and unfair proposed tobacco prevention funding cuts

The organizations below are joining together to strongly urge Indiana legislators to oppose proposed drastic funding cuts to Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency and ask that the agency’s budget be set at $14.5 million per year for the next biennium.

The most recent budget proposal by Governor Daniels this week recommends ITPC’s budget to be only $10.85 million per year and would result in drastic program cutbacks. We understand that with the current economic climate all agencies needed to tighten their belts and although we don’t want to see any cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation, we accepted the program annual funding would need to be reduced from its current $16.2 million per year funding to $14.5 million per year funding as was proposed the final budget conference at the end of the regular session of the Indiana General Assembly.

Cutting the program to $10.85 million annually as proposed in the Governor’s special session budget is drastic and represents an additional 25% cut on top of the previous cut.   The bottom line is that this type of significant cut will seriously reduce programs and services.  It does not make good health or economic policy sense to cut into life saving and cost saving tobacco prevention programs at such a disproportionate amount compared with the overall state spending reduction.  Tobacco prevention and cessation programs directly address a health epidemic that costs our state $2.08 billion dollars in direct health care costs annually and cost Medicaid alone $487 million annually.

If Indiana is serious about its fiscal health in particular, we should not cut programs that are a key to reigning in skyrocketing healthcare costs.  9,800 Indiana kids become addicted to tobacco each year, and Indiana already has one of the highest smoking rates in the country.  Further, smoking rates are significantly higher among people participating in Medicaid and other state programs.  Tobacco prevention and cessation efforts are helping thousands of Hoosiers quit through cessation programs and our quitline, while saving the state money in the long-term.

Simply put it would be pennywise and pound foolish to so severely cut a program that results in lower health care costs and improved economic development opportunities as it saves lives and prevents diseases, especially in this economic environment. 

We call on the Indiana General Assembly to oppose any cut that reduces funding below the amount of $14.5 million per year for ITPC for the next biennium.

Jointly signed by the following organizations:

American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Hoosier Faith & Health Coalition
Indiana Academy of Family Physicians
Indiana Black Expo
Indiana Collaborative for Healthier Rural Communities
Indiana Latino Institute
Indiana Minority Health Coalition
Indiana Public Health Association
Indiana Rural Health Association