Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Poll Shows Support For Indy Smoking Ban

In State News on July 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

Check out this article in the Indianapolis Star. A recent poll shows that 70% of Indianapolis residents support a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance that covers all workplaces including restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys.

Our cities, and in fact our whole state, needs a smoke-free workplace law to protect all workers from secondhand smoke, a known carcinogen, no matter the color of their collar. Local tobacco prevention coalitions are working with businesses in Daviess and Pike counties to help them write and implement their own smoke-free workplace policies.

For more information and resources about smoke-free workplaces, email


3 Reasons Why We Need Tobacco-Free School Campuses

In Local News on July 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

1) A policy that prohibits tobacco use by all students, staff, parents, and visitors on all school property at all times puts actions behind our words. It is the single most effective thing a school can do to influence children not to use tobacco.

  • Comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy is the top recommendation from the CDC to prevent youth tobacco use.
  • There is a lot of support around Washington for a completely tobacco-free campus. About 35 parents around Washington have approached the Coalition about the need for a tobacco-free campus. The Coalition surveyed about 120 Daviess County parents at last year’s county fair, and 87% indicated support for a comprehensive tobacco-free school campus policy.

2) A comprehensive policy protects students, parents, and visitors from secondhand smoke.

  • The U.S. Surgeon General has stated there is no safe level of secondhand smoke.

3) Numerous other schools have had success with tobacco-free campus policies, including North Daviess, Shoals, Crawford County, and Pike County.

  • Because schools have been implementing this strategy in numerous counties around the state, the youth smoking rate dropped from 23% in 2006 to 18% in 2008, and more students report not being open to smoking.
  • Currently about 70% of Indiana children go to schools with tobacco-free campus policies.

Pike County Schools Receive Sandifur Award

In Local News on July 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

On Monday night, Sally Petty, coordinator of the Pike County Tobacco Prevention Coalition, presented the Gary Sandifur Award to Superintendent John Thomas and School Board President Chris Satterfield. Also attending the ceremony were Rep. Mark Messmer, coalition president Neil Ward, and Karen O’Brien, ITPC southwest regional director.

Pike County Schools To Receive Gary Sandifur Tobacco-Free School Award

In Local News on July 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

PETERSBURG, Ind. – Pike County Schools, for instituting a campus policy making school grounds totally smoke-free, will be honored with the Gary Sandifur Tobacco-Free School Campus Award during the school board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 5, from Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) and Pike County Tobacco Prevention Coalition.

The Gary Sandifur Award, honoring a Kokomo, Ind., man who was a life-long smoker and died at age fifty, is awarded exclusively to schools that enact comprehensive tobacco-control policies, prohibiting tobacco use by students, school staff, parents and visitors on school property and in school vehicles.  The policy must be enforced on school days and weekends, and it must encompass all events held on school property.

“By putting action behind what students hear in their health classrooms, this policy is an important step in preventing our youth from using tobacco and providing a healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors at Pike County schools,” said Sally Petty, coordinator of the Pike County Tobacco Prevention Coalition.

Lorene Sandifur, who was featured in a well-known series of statewide television advertisements telling the story of losing her husband, guided the creation of the award in order to continue delivering Gary’s message on smoking and what it did to shorten his life.  Gary Sandifur died of lung cancer due to smoking that had spread to his brain.

“I don’t want other wives or other husbands, sons and daughters to feel the pain I felt when I lost Gary,” said Lorene Sandifur.  “I hope to encourage people to never start smoking and those who are addicted, I encourage them to quit today.”

By honoring schools with an award in his name, Lorene hopes to spread his message to our most vulnerable population for tobacco initiation – youth.  An estimated 19,600 Hoosier children under age 18 become daily smokers each year,  and in 2003, 23 percent of Indiana’s high school students reported using tobacco.  

Through comprehensive tobacco-free school campus policies, students cannot smoke on school grounds or in their cars, and more importantly, parents and teachers cannot smoke in front of impressionable youth on school grounds, setting a clear example and giving a consistent message that tobacco use is a life-threatening addiction.

Gary, who had smoked all of his life, had promised Lorene and his family that he would quit smoking on his 50th birthday.  Before turning 50, however, he began experiencing headaches and dizziness.  He visited a doctor for testing, and the day before his 50th birthday, the results showed cancerous tumors in his brain.  Stage Four lung cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain.  Gary had promised his family he wouldn’t smoke after he turned 50.  He was right.

After learning that he was dying of cancer, Gary started speaking to children and teenagers about the dangers of smoking.  He wanted to get the message out to as many people as possible: that smoking was not worth the risk involved.  Gary didn’t get to finish the work he started.  After living twice as long as the doctors predicted and talking to as many kids as he could, he lost his battle with cancer.  But his wife, Lorene, decided to continue the work Gary had begun.

After appearing in ITPC’s series of statewide commercials where she told her and Gary’s story, Lorene continues to speak to children, teenagers and adults about the harmful effects of tobacco use, helping to finish the job her husband started.  The Gary Sandifur Award was created in memory and honor of Gary Sandifur and the Sandifur family, as well as the countless other Hoosier families who have been harmed by tobacco use.

The Pike County Tobacco Prevention Coalition aims to reduce and eliminate harm caused to Pike County residents by tobacco use and secondhand smoke. The coalition meets at noon the first Thursday of every month at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce boardroom. For more information, call 812-698-0232 or visit

The ITPC Executive Board was created to oversee funding from Indiana’s share of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement from the tobacco companies. The Board oversees the entire comprehensive program, which includes media components, special youth features, enforcement, cessation initiatives and community programs in every county in Indiana. Learn more about ITPC’s efforts at or its youth movement at