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Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Smoke-Free Policies – Cheap and Effective

In Local News on October 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

Did you know that a smoke-free workplace policy can save your business a lot of money?

The Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended smoke-free workplace policies after finding that policies effectively reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and reduce tobacco use among workers. While a policy making indoor areas smoke-free is excellent, a smoke-free grounds policy that provides cessation assistance is even better at protecting non-smoking employees and motivating smoking employees to quit.

Not only is a smoke-free workplace policy one of the most effective things you can do to reduce tobacco-related costs, it is one of the least expensive. According to the Guide to Community Preventive Services, implementing a smoke-free workplace policy costs $526 per quality of life year while providing free nicotine replacement patches costs $4,613 per quality of life year. And a business could save about $3,400 per year for each employee who quits smoking due to a smoke-free workplace policy.

For more information about smoke-free policies and the free resources available in Daviess County to help you implement policies and cessation programs, contact Sally Petty, coordinator of the Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition, at 812-698-0232 or notobacco@live.com.

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Most Hoosier Voters Would Vote For Candidates Who Favor Statewide Smoke-Free Law

In State News on October 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Below is a press release issued today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. For a complementary opinion piece, check out this Indy Star column.

Legislators have opportunity to align with constituents

Indianapolis, IN – Oct. 18, 2010 – A majority of Hoosier voters are more likely to vote for a state candidate who favors a statewide smokefree air law, according to the latest statewide poll conducted for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). When asked, 53 percent of Hoosiers polled said they are “much more likely” or “somewhat more likely” to vote for a candidate who supports smokefree air legislation.

“Clearly, Hoosiers continue to support clean indoor air and their willingness to take this issue to the ballot box only confirms how eager they are for their elected officials to take the appropriate action,” said Amanda Estridge, Indiana state government relations manager for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “There is no valid argument that can refute the numerous public opinion, health and economic studies that show the state would be better off all around with a comprehensive smokefree air law.”

The poll, completed by Bellwether Research & Consulting, polled Hoosiers statewide, all of whom are self-described likely voters this November.

Other significant findings of the statewide poll include:

1. Smoke-free air will not hurt Hoosier businesses. Ninety-two percent of those polled stated that they would be more likely or just as likely to visit establishments that will go smokefree under a statewide law. Sixty-six percent of those polled say their impression of restaurants and other establishments would improve if they convert to smokefree.

2. Employees should be protected from second-hand smoke. Over half of voters (54 percent) say secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard, while only five percent say it poses no hazard at all. Eighty-one percent of those polled believe that all employees have the right to breathe smokefree air at work, including in bars and casinos.

3. Restaurants, bars, and other establishments will be healthier if smokefree. Eighty-seven percent of those polled agree smokefree air will be healthier, while only 11 percent disagree.

Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) and Rep. Eric Turner (R-Marion) are expected to introduce bi-partisan legislation banning smoking in all public places in Indiana. 

“A smokefree Indiana is long overdue,” said Brown. “We have an opportunity to make a profound difference in health of our state, for individuals as well as businesses that will benefit from a comprehensive smokefree law. We’ve seen our neighboring states go smokefree and do it successfully – Indiana has no excuse.”

“Smokefree air is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” said Turner. “It’s about ensuring everyone has the right to breathe smokefree air, no matter who they are or where they work. I encourage my colleagues in the General Assembly to do the right thing and make Indiana smokefree.”

Each year, more than 1,200 Indiana adult nonsmokers die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Food service workers are 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer, largely because of exposure to secondhand smoke on the job. In terms of economic impact, secondhand smoke costs the state of Indiana more than $390 million each year, or $62 per taxpayer.

“Once again, a survey is showing that the people of Indiana want smokefree air,” said Danielle Patterson, chair of the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air. “It’s time for lawmakers to listen to their constituents, which they were elected to do, and support statewide smokefree legislation.”

The Bellwether Research poll was conducted October 7-10, and has a margin of error of + or – four percent. Interviews were conducted via landline and cellular telephones.

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

Pike TPC Buys Signs For Pike Central Schools

In Local News on October 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

PETERSBURG, Ind. – The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition has purchased tobacco-free campus signs for all Pike Central school properties in support of the school’s new tobacco-free campus policy.

The policy prohibits use of tobacco products by all students, staff and visitors at all times on all school property and grounds.

“A comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy is one of the most important steps a school can take to create a healthy environment for students,” said Sally Petty, coalition coordinator. “The policy sends the message that the school does not condone tobacco use. It supports what students hear from their health teachers and sets a healthy standard for the rest of our community to live up to.”

The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition is funded by tobacco master settlement funds through Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. Their mission is to reduce tobacco-related death and disease by preventing youth from starting, helping tobacco users quit, and reducing public exposure to secondhand smoke. For more information about tobacco-free policies, contact Petty at 812-698-0232 or notobacco@live.com.

Pictured is Petty presenting a sign to school resource officer Charlie Barr.

Golden Living Center Receives Tobacco-Free Business Award

In Local News on October 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

PETERSBURG, Ind. – The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition today presented their Tobacco-Free Business Award to Golden Living Center in honor of a quality smoke-free workplace policy.

The Tobacco-Free Business award honors Pike County businesses that protect workers and the public from secondhand smoke. Top quality policies prohibit smoking on all property and grounds and provide help for employees to quit smoking. Golden Living Center facilities became smoke-free campus-wide effective Sept. 1, 2010.

Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing substances, and there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke also kills nonsmokers – 3,400 from lung cancer and 46,000 from heart disease every year in the U.S. Additionally, death and disease from secondhand smoke cost businesses and taxpayers in our state millions of dollars in healthcare costs and lost productivity every year.

“We are proud of Golden Living Center for enacting a policy that promotes a healthier environment for employees, residents and visitors,” said Sally Petty, coordinator of the Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition. “Policies like theirs save both lives and money and help set a healthier standard for our whole community.”

The Pike County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition is funded by tobacco master settlement funds through Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. Their mission is to reduce tobacco-related death and disease by preventing youth from starting, helping tobacco users quit, and reducing public exposure to secondhand smoke.

Pictured is coalition coordinator Sally Petty presenting the award to Golden Living Center Director Cathy Eckert.

Financial Toll of Smoking

In State News on October 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

Check out this article from Sunday’s Indianapolis Star: Financial Toll of Smoking Explored.

Smoking costs not just the smoker, but business, taxpayers, and our state as a whole. This is just one of many reasons that Indiana needs to continue allocating tobacco settlment dollars to the work of Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency, which provides cessation services to all Indiana residents through the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

This year, Indiana received $135 million from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, and just $10 million was appropriated to ITPC for tobacco prevention work in our state. Research shows that tobacco control is a good investment for states; the more they spend on tobacco control, the lower the smoking rate, and the less they spend on tobacco-related healthcare costs. For more information about Indiana’s tobacco control programs, check out ITPC’s annual report.