Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone from your friends at Smoke Free Indy.

We hope that this holiday season is full of gladness and good cheer. Hopefully you will be able to fill this season with some good old fashion smoke free fun.

As New Years approaches please add making all Indianapolis workplaces smoke free to your 2010 list of resolutions. This is one that we can surely make happen, 2010 is our year, I just know it!

Also if you know someone that needs and or wants to quit tobacco have them call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now for free telephone counselling and 2 weeks free patch or gum. They can also visit the website www.QuitNowIndiana.net.

This is it from us through the New Year, we'll be back in 2010 to make things happen.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Help Mellencamp Quit Smoking

John Mellencamp's son Speck is trying to get one million facebook users to join his page in support of his father quitting smoking. Currently the group is at 237,590 members, almost a quarter of the way toward his goal. Take a minute to join this group to support Mellencamp going smoke free. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&gid=202540109208

Nonsmokers Top Smokers in Well-Being Across All Incomes

Here is an interesting report stating that nonsmokers have a higher well being than smokers at every income level.

Check it out here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/124280/Nonsmokers-Top-Smokers-Across-Incomes.aspx?CSTS=alert

If you want to quit to increase your overall well being call Indiana's free tobacco quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

National Report: Indiana Ranks 29th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco

A new report released today from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) lists Indiana as 29th in the nation for protecting kids from tobacco. This rate is better than our adult smoking rate which is 2nd in the nation, but we still have a long way to go to prevent youth from becoming future smokers. We know from research and through examples from other states that smoking rates decrease through increased tobacco taxes, smoke free air laws and comprehensive tobacco programs, currently Indiana is falling behind the rest of the nation in all three of these fronts.

Here is the press release from CTFK:

CONTACT: Joel Spivak/Ashley Rockhold, 202-296-5469

National Report: Indiana Ranks 29th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco
After Cutting Funding for Tobacco Prevention by 28%

Washington, DC (December 9, 2009) –Indiana has cut state funding for tobacco prevention programs by 28 percent in the past year and currently ranks 29th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

Indiana currently spends $11.8 million a year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, including $10.8 million in state funds and a $1 million federal grant. This total is just 15 percent of the $78.8 million recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last year, Indiana ranked 28th, spending $16 million on tobacco prevention.

Other key findings for Indiana include:
· In the past year, Indiana has cut state funding for its tobacco prevention program by 28 percent, from $15.1 million to $10.8 million.
· Indiana this year will collect $622 million from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend less than two percent of it on tobacco prevention programs.
· The tobacco companies spend $426.2 million a year to market their products in Indiana. This is 36 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

The annual report on states’ funding of tobacco prevention programs, titled “A Broken Promise to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 11 Years Later,” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program has contributed to significant declines in tobacco use. Between 2000 and 2008, smoking declined by 42 percent among Indiana high school students (from 31.6 percent to 18.3 percent) and by 58 percent among middle school students (from 9.8 percent to 4.1 percent). However, Indiana still has one of the highest adult smoking rates in the nation at 26.1 percent. Every year, another 8,600 Indiana kids become regular smokers, and tobacco use claims 9,700 lives and costs the state $2.1 billion in health care bills.

“Indiana has made significant progress in the fight against tobacco, but Indiana this year has taken a step backward and cut state funding for tobacco prevention by more than a quarter,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Indiana’s progress in reducing tobacco use is at risk unless state leaders restore funding for tobacco prevention. Even in these difficult budget times, tobacco prevention is a smart investment that reduces smoking, saves lives and saves money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs.”

Eleven years after the 1998 state tobacco settlement, the new report finds that the states this year are collecting record amounts of revenue from the tobacco industry, but are spending less of it on tobacco prevention. Key national findings of the report include:

· The states this year will collect $25.1 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 2.3 percent of it – $567.5 million – on tobacco prevention programs. It would take less than 15 percent of their tobacco revenue to fund tobacco prevention programs in every state at CDC-recommended levels.
· In the past year, states have cut funding for tobacco prevention programs by more than 15 percent, or $103.4 million.
· Only one state – North Dakota – currently funds a tobacco prevention program at the CDC-recommended level.
· Only nine other states fund prevention programs at even half the CDC-recommended amount, while 31 states and DC are providing less than a quarter of the recommended funding.

The report warns that the nation’s progress in reducing smoking is at risk unless states increase funding for programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. The United States has significantly reduced smoking among both youth and adults, but the CDC’s most recent survey showed that smoking declines among adults have stalled. Currently 20 percent of high school students and 20.6 percent of adults smoke.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people and costing $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers – one-third of them will die prematurely as a result.

More information, including the full report and state-specific information, can be obtained at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reach Out to Your Councillors and Mayor Ballard this Holiday Season

If you are sending out holiday cards this season, please consider sending one to Mayor Ballard and your city-county councillor, letting them know that YOUR wish for this holiday season, and resolution for 2010 is a Smoke Free Indianapolis.

What You Can Do

Please consider sending a Christmas or holiday card to Mayor Ballard telling him why a Smoke Free Indy is your New Year’s Resolution - for living, working, visiting, and playing. Help encourage him to be a champion for a healthier, more vibrant and livable Indy that protects the freedom to breathe for all workers.

You can send the card to:

The Honorable Greg Ballard
Mayor of Indianapolis
Office of the Mayor

2501 City-County Bldg.

200 E. Washington St.Indianapolis, IN 46204

If you live in Indianapolis, please send a card to your councillor. If they are support of Proposal 371, please thank them for their support! If they have not yet supported Proposal 371, please encourage them to do so.

Don't know who your councillor is? Follow this link to find out.

Councillors Who Have Shown Support for Proposal 371

Councillor Benjamin Hunter (21)
10921 Midnight Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46239

Councillor Angela Mansfield (2)
7836 Harcourt Springs Ct
Indianapolis, In 46260

Councillor Jose Evans (1)
P.O. Box 68077
Indianapolis, IN 46268

Councillor Paul Bateman (11)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillor Maggie Lewis (7)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillor Brian Mahern (16)
1415 Lexington Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Councillor Barbara Malone (At-Large)
6953 Bretton Wood Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46260

Councillor Mary Moriarty Adams (17)
5256 E. 13th St
Indianapolis, IN 46219

Councillor Jackie Nytes (9)
3444 Washington Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46205

Councillor Joanne Sanders (At-Large)
5144 N Carrollton Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46205

Councillor Kent Smith (At-Large)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillor Ryan Vaughn (3)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillors Who Have Not YET Shown Support for Proposal 371

Councillor Vernon Brown (18)
11817 Brocken Way
Indianapolis, IN 46229

Councillor Virginia Cain (5)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillor Jeff Cardwell (23)
3205 Madison Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46227

Councillor Bob Cockrum (22)
6004 W. Ralston Road
Indianapolis, IN 46221

Councillor Ed Coleman (At-Large)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Councillor Susie Day (20)
245 Churchman Ave
Beech Grove, IN 46107

Councillor Robert Lutz (13)
1156 Texarkana Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46231

Councillor Janice McHenry (6)
7641 Torbay Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46254

Councillor Michael McQuillen (12)
9130 Prairie Ridge Ct
Indianapolis, IN 46256

Councillor William Oliver (10)
4712 E 34th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46218

Councillor Lincoln Plowman (25)
7915 S Emerson #296
Indianapolis, IN 46237

Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer (14)
1001 Mt. Auburn Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46224

Councillor Christine Scales (4)
5133 Plantation Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Councillor Mike Speedy (24)
4733 Moss Creek Terrace
Indianapolis, IN 46237

Councillor Monroe Gray, Jr. (8)
4811 Seville Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46228

Councillor Dane Mahern (19)
2313 S Garfield Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Councillor Doris Minton-McNeill (15)
241 City-County Building

200 E. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

In this season of giving and gratitude, please show Mayor Ballard and your councillor that they can give Indianapolis the best gift of all - healthy and safe workplaces for all Indianapolis employees and patrons.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Smoke Free Indy Position Statement on 371 Going Back to Committee

December 2, 2009

Smoke Free Indy’s Position Statement

Indianapolis, Ind. – Proposal 371, which would extend the current smoke free air law to include bars, bowling alleys and membership clubs, was sent back for additional committee review at the last Marion County City-County Council meeting on Monday, November 30th. While the council did not enact Proposal 371 at that time, the smoke free air proposal remains a pressing issue for Indianapolis workers and residents.

This step is a temporary, but necessary, delay to our ultimate goal of protecting workers, including hospitality workers, from secondhand smoke in the workplace. There is already strong bipartisan support among the council and overwhelming community support. Over the next few months, we will continue to work diligently toward council passage and to gain Mayor Ballard's support.

Smoke Free Indy wants to thank the councillors who have supported and led the fight to make Indianapolis a healthier city in which to live and work. Comprehensive smoke free workplace laws prevent disease and death and improve the economic development climate by reducing preventable health care costs.

We will remain focused on the health of Indianapolis workers and we are hopeful that the council will continue to work to protect all workers in Indianapolis from the dangers of secondhand smoke. No one should have to choose between their jobs and their health.

# # #

Smoke Free Indy is a coalition of state and local public health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association of Indiana as well as other groups, businesses, and Marion County residents, that support making all workplaces smoke free. We are dedicated to reducing secondhand smoke, tobacco usage and tobacco initiation through education, prevention and advocacy. For more information visit: www.smokefreeindy.com.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bars' victory hazardous to health | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star

Below is the newest editorial from the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star lamenting the fact that the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council did not enact Proposal 371 at the council meeting on Monday night.

Bars' victory hazardous to health IndyStar.com The Indianapolis Star

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Proposal 371 Sent Back to Committee

Proposal 371, the proposed Indianapolis smoke free ordinance that covers, bars, membership clubs and bowling alley, was sent back to committee for further consideration in the City-County Council meeting last night.

This keeps the legislation live and active so we ultimately can get a majority for passage.

See article on Indy Star:

IndyStar.com Both sides cheer vote on smoking ban The Indianapolis Star