Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Health Fitness Rankings

Guess what we are fat lazy smokers! Hooray! Oh wait, that's not a good thing..

Yesterday the American College of Sports Medicine released it's American Fitness Index of the healthiest cities in the United states, out of 50 cities Indy ranks 44th. This is actually a 8 place drop from last years 36th spot. What has lead to this new rank? The fact that we have high obesity rates, fewer park lands, fewer baseball diamonds and high chronic diseases rates including asthma and diabetes. What else led to this new lower ranking? Our high rate of smoking of course!

As discussed in earlier blog posts, states and cities reduce smoking rates through funded tobacco prevention programs, high cigarette tax rates, cessation and smoke free air laws. Here in Indiana we are falling behind on most of these efforts; our tobacco programs are poorly funded, our cigarette tax is low, our quitline is not fully funded and we do not have a comprehensive statewide smoke free air law. Also many chronic diseases are caused by smoking. So one way to increase our health ranking is to pass a smoke free air law and to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

Oh and the top five healthiest cities all have comprehensive smoke free air laws in place. To read the full report please go here:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letter to the Editor's

There have been several great Letter to the Editor's in the Indianapolis Star lately on the NEED to make Indianapolis a smoke free city.

There is a particularly great one in today's star from a Mr. Charles Hardy who moved here from Austin, TX after experiencing going smoke free firsthand.

Last week there was a LTE from a Mr. Bruce Secor on his experience of moving here from Chicago, which is totally smoke free.

On May 6th, there was a LTE from a Mr. Derek Sumpter asking why the whole state of Michigan can smoke free but Indianapolis still allows smoking.

How many people writing into the Star will it take before our city and state leaders realize that it's what people want and a good thing to do?

Oh and the whole state of Wisconsin will go smoke free on June 1st. That's right the beer drinking, cheese eating and fun loving state to the north will be smoke free while we still allow secondhand smoke to impact our workers health.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

IndyFringe: Diva Fest

Smoke Free Indy is helping to sponsor IndyFringe's Diva Fest tonight through Saturday. Below is more information on these important shows featuring women playwrights. Please try to make time in your busy weekend and attend one of the shows!

DivaFest, May 6-9, IndyFringe Theatre

Three days and five new original plays all by women. Just like the IndyFringe festival all shows are $10 and one hour long. Enjoy a variety of unique stories by experienced and first time playwrights. Buy the Fiver Pass and see all plays for only $40. Mothers day weekend - bring the most important woman in your life!

Tickets and show info available at

DivaFest aims to:
Engage the community in how to approach a new script as an audience member as well as learn from actors, directors and designers how they approach a new script.
Establish Indianapolis as a centre for developing women playwrights through an annual DivaFest and ultimately as a vibrant part of the annual IndyFringe.
Provide benefits to community, university and professional theatres through an ongoing DivaFest where women can share their stories.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Below is a Press Release that Smoke Free Indy sent out last Friday on Michigan going smoke free, and Indiana being left behind - AGAIN!

April 20, 2010

Michigan is now smoke-free: Will Indiana be last?
All of Indiana’s neighbors in the Midwest have passed laws to protect workers from secondhand smoke

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With Michigan’s smoke-free air law going into effect May 1, 2010, Indiana is among the last states that does not have a law that protects its workers from exposure to secondhand smoke. All of Indiana’s Midwest neighbors – Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio – have passed laws to protect workers in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars.

Other states in the Midwest that have passed comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws include Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Iowa.

“Indiana is once again falling behind. The need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces has never been more clear,” said Melissa Lewis, Chair of Smoke Free Indy. “We can no longer afford the heavy burden brought on from the health and economic impacts of secondhand smoke. Now is the time to make our state capital smoke-free.”

Smoke Free Indy hopes that Marion County will soon pass a comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance that protects all of Marion County’s workers from the known health hazards of secondhand smoke.

Nine cities and two counties in Indiana have passed comprehensive smoke-free air laws. Indianapolis’ current ordinance, which went into effect March 1, 2006, prohibits smoking in some workplaces but exempts bars, bowling alleys, and private membership clubs with liquor licenses.

“Our policymakers must not continue to wait for another body to do the job. Workers in Indianapolis need our city-county council to take action now, and we hope the state will follow suit,” Lewis said. “We congratulate the Michigan state legislature for taking such an important step that will allow Michigan workers to earn their paychecks in a healthier environment. We hope that it serves as a call to action for our local policymakers to do the same.”
Smoke Free Indy is a coalition of state and local public health organizations, community based organizations, physicians, businesses, schools, the faith community, and Marion County residents dedicated to reducing secondhand smoke, tobacco usage and tobacco initiation through education, prevention and advocacy. For more information visit: