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Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Perdue, Inc. Receives Smoke-Free Business Award

In Local News on July 30, 2009 at 8:37 am

WASHINGTON, Ind. – The Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition has tapped Perdue, Inc. for Daviess County’s Smoke-Free Business Award. ITPC Project Coordinator Sally Petty presented a certificate to the business on July 29 in honor of their new smoke-free policy.

Perdue Smokefree Award

“This is a great step for encouraging our associates to be smoke-free and healthy,” said Kip Tucker, Safety Supervisor for the Washington Complex.

Perdue enacted the policy May 18 to improve the health and well being of their 750 associates at the Washington plant.

“We are proud of the excellent example Perdue is setting for our business community by providing a healthy smoke-free environment and cessation benefits to their employees,” said Petty.

For a free toolkit about implementing smoke-free policy at your business, contact Petty at 812-698-0232 or sjk19@hotmail.com. For free help to quit smoking, call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Smoke-free Air Policies

In Local News, State News on July 24, 2009 at 8:17 am

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This is supported by the data from the survey our coalition took at the Daviess County Fair last month showing more than 90% of respondants support some sort of smoke-free air policy.

Smokers Are Happier When They Quit

In Local News on July 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

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Indianapolis Star Editorial

In State News on July 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

Check out this recent editorial in the Indianapolis Star:

Snuffing out youth puffing

If physical health is inseparable from economic well-being — and it is — then one might argue that Indiana can’t stand prosperity.

Cigarettes kill roughly 10,000 Hoosiers a year and cost the state an estimated $3.5 billion in hospitalization, lost work time and other damage. It would make good fiscal sense for Indiana, one of the nation’s heaviest-smoking states, to kick the habit.

And we’re headed that way, according to a recent survey by Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. The anti-smoking organization found that puffing by high school students has dropped 42 percent since the start of the decade, while the vice has declined 58 percent among middle-schoolers.

The good news would be even better if it did not follow an Indiana General Assembly session in which a proposed statewide smoking ban succumbed to special-interest politics and funding for anti-tobacco education and assistance for aspiring quitters was slashed.

We have seen this penny wisdom and pound foolishness before. About a decade ago, when the state was devoting the bulk of its share of the nationwide tobacco lawsuit settlement to anti-smoking efforts, youth smoking plummeted. When our leaders commenced to siphon off most of the windfall for other, unrelated budgetary needs, youth smoking shot up again.

The decline in recent years has been attributed, reasonably enough, to the proliferation of local anti-smoking ordinances and the 44-cent cigarette tax increase enacted in 2007, along with the work of Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. Clearly, a statewide ban and a lighter hit on the organization’s finances would have been timely investments in money and political capital, given the benefits.

As it turned out, a funding cut that was expected to be about 10 percent widened to 33 percent during the special session, leaving the program with just under $11 million compared to the $32 million a year it originally commanded from the settlement.

Hard times make for hard choices; bringing better times requires tougher decisions than lawmakers and the Daniels administration were willing to make this year when it came to the health of the younger generation.

At the same time, indications are that the status of smoking among adolescents has deteriorated despite seductive advertising and media glamorization. Education, taxation, ordinances and restrictions have been essential to that change of consciousness, and the heat must be kept on.

Lighthouse Needs Donations

In Local News on July 10, 2009 at 9:33 am

The Lighthouse Recovery Center in Washington, Ind., is in need of household or cash donations. Items needed are personal hygiene, toilet paper, bath soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish liquid, household cleaners, etc. These items can be dropped off at 311 East Main Street, Washington, IN 47501. Contact Angie Davis @ 254-0860 for further information or questions.

The Lighthouse helps people recover from addictions.

Indiana’s Youth Smoking Rates Drop Dramatically

In State News on July 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana health officials today reported that the state’s youth smoking rates have reached “historic new lows” among middle school and high school-aged students; data that suggests that the lives of tens of thousands of youth in the Hoosier state will be saved by the fact they never start using tobacco.

According to Karla Sneegas, executive director, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC), the 2008 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) showed smoking among high school students dropped from 23.2 percent in 2006 to 18.3 percent in 2008, a  decline of 21 percent. Among middle school students, the rates fell even more dramatically from 7.7 percent to just 4.1 percent for same time period – a 47 percent decline.

Since 2000, high school smoking has dropped 42 percent, from 31.6 percent in 2000 to 18.3 percent in 2008.  Middle school smoking has been cut 58 percent from 9.8 percent in 2000 to 4.1 percent in 2008.

“Each year, cigarette smoking causes more deaths than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined,” said State Health Commissioner, Judy Monroe, M.D.  “The best way to prevent these deaths is to keep young people from starting smoking in the first place.  This survey shows the young people in Indiana are getting the message, which is ‘Don’t let the tobacco companies fool you.  Smoking is not cool or fun and it can kill you.’”

The YTS data show that overall gains are being made particularly among teens identified as “established smokers.” Established youth smokers are defined as those who have smoked at least 20 of the last 30 days.

“Teens who are established smokers are already on the road to a lifetime addiction to smoking and will be the patients who show up in their doctor’s offices with chronic diseases like heart disease,” says Sneegas.  “Today’s reduction in teen smoking will result in huge health care savings for Indiana down the road.”

Data from the 2008 survey show that the smoking rate for teen established smokers dropped by more than 25 percent from 11.7 percent in 2006 to 8.7 percent in 2008.

“Data in this year’s study suggests that established youth smokers are 15 times more likely to grow up to be addicted adult smokers compared to those who have never smoked even a puff,” said Matthew Farrelly, health economist and project director from RTI, ITPC’s evaluation and research coordinating center that analyzed the data from the survey. 

According to Sneegas, teen smokers respond even more quickly than adults to the evidence-based programs that ITPC implements in local communities across Indiana.  These programs focus on recommended interventions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs including creating tobacco free norms through VOICE,  Indiana’s youth tobacco prevention movement; supporting efforts to raise cigarette price and limit tobacco industry marketing; and increasing smoke free environments and smoke free workplaces.

Emily Kile, who will soon begin her senior year at Greenfield Central H.S., leads the Hancock County VOICE youth movement and was recently named National Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (TFK). Kile’s local VOICE program targets tobacco company advertising and marketing aimed to lure teens into a lifetime addiction to smoking. 

“Teens are targeted on a daily basis by the tobacco industry’s marketing and advertising as part of the over $1 million that the industry spends every single day in Indiana,” Kile explained. “All around us, the tobacco industry tries to get us hooked to all sorts of products, from cigarettes and cigars to spit tobacco and, now, candy-like dissolvables. If they had their way, it would never end. I think what you’re seeing here in Indiana is a real movement that’s gaining ground every day.”

“We have a lot more work ahead of us, especially among adult smokers, but I am heartened by this positive trend in the behaviors of our young people, which is in no small part due to the efforts of Gov. Daniels’ INShape Indiana and Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation,” added Dr. Monroe.

The Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey is a statewide sample of middle schools and high schools in Indiana.  In 2008, 47 high schools representing approximately 3,700 youth and 52 middle schools representing 3,300 youth participated.  The survey is administered in participating schools that are selected randomly by the CDC.  The survey contains questions about tobacco use knowledge, attitudes, and behavior, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke and exposure to pro-tobacco marketing ads and movies.

Secondhand Smoke Causes Heart Disease

In National News on July 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

A recent study published in Tobacco Control found that non-smoking women exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes were more likely to suffer from ischemic heart disease. The more they were exposed to the smoke, the higher was their risk.

This study underscores that exposure to secondhand smoke not only increases risk of cancer, but also increases risk of heart disease among nonsmokers. It also shows the need for homes to implement smoke-free home policies, not only to protect children, but also spouses, from secondhand smoke.

Smoking Related To Mental Decline

In National News on July 2, 2009 at 8:08 am

A study published in a recent edition of Neurology found that not smoking was a key factor to maintaining cognitive function as people age. In other words, smoking puts you at a greater risk for mental decline as you age. Think dementia.

Smoking status is a factor that is modifiable and thus may be implemented in prevention programs to promote successful cognitive aging and prevent decline in cognitive functioning as age increases.

ITPC Funding Cut By 30%

In Local News, State News on July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

This from Tim Filler, Americans For Nonsmoker’s Rights:

The legislature passed a state budget last night that Governor Daniels signed into law.

The Indiana General Assembly appropriated $10.859 million per year for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency, a one-third cut from the ITPC budget for this last fiscal year that ended yesterday. The legislature’s cut of ITPC’s funding from $16.2 million per year to $10.859 million per year is a significant reduction in program funding. 

This can only mean significant cuts in tobacco prevention and cessation program funding, but we don’t yet know for sure how it will effect Daviess and Pike countis. We’ll just have to do more with less, and we’ll find a way.