Thursday, November 18, 2010

ACS' Great American Smokeout

Today is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, a day dedicated to quitting smoking and raising awareness about smoke free air. If you know someone who needs to quit smoking they can call 1-800-Quit-Now, the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, for 4-weeks free counselling and 2-weeks free patch or gum. You can also check out our website for a list of local cessation providers.

Yesterday, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, released it's annual rankings of state tobacco control programs. This year Indiana is ranked 28th in the nation because we only spend $9.2 million dollars a year on tobacco prevention which is only 11.7% of what the CDC recommends for our state. Tobacco companies spend over $462 million dollars every year in Indiana to advertise their products. Indiana also receives $140 million dollars every year from the settlement with the tobacco companies but only spends 7% on tobacco prevention programs.

A new website you can checkout:
Also remember to text "smokefree" to 242-242 for Smoke Free Indy alerts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

IBJ Article on Indiana Passing a Statewide Smokefree Air Law

This week's Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) has an article on the prospect of the Indiana Legislature passing a statewide smoke free air bill this session. Representative Charlie Brown does plan on re-introducing a bill this session that would require all businesses to be smoke free. This will be the fifth year that this type of bill has been introduced and every year we get a little closer to the actual passage of a smoke free air bill.

Without the Council taking any action in Indianapolis to strengthen our current law, it would be great if the state passed a smoke free air law that covers all workplaces to protect all workers from secondhand smoke. Currently there are 22 states that have laws covering all workplaces and bars.

Here is a map from the Americans For Nonsmokers Rights Foundation listing all the smoke free air laws across the nation. This map is from October 1st and does not include South Dakota which just passed by referendum.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indiana Latino Institute Town Hall

On October 26th, Smoke Free Indy partners the Indiana Latino Institute, hosted a town hall for the Latino community. Below is information about their town hall.

Growth and Development of the Hispanic Community in Indianapolis
Panel Discussion with Latino Community Leaders

On Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at the Marian Center of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Indiana Latino Institute, Inc. (ILI), in collaboration with the Latino Health Organization, organized a panel discussion of Latino community leaders with 63 participants from the community in attendance.

The objective for the panel discussion, facilitated by guest Moderator, Marco Dominguez, both in English and Spanish, was to open the lines of communication between Latino community leaders and the Latino community or those interested in or working with the Latino community regarding issues of faith, public safety, business and health, along with local and state public officials.

Fr. Michael O’Mara, St. Mary’s Church, Officer Carlos Trincado, IMPD, Ms. Veronica Guerrero, female business owner of Creaciones Guerrero, Dr. Lluvia Medina – Alivio Medical Center, topic tobacco and the Latino community, Carlos May, Latino Affairs Office of the Mayor, Angel Rivera, City-County Council Member at Large, and Damiel Lopez, Indiana Commission on Hispanic Latino Affairs.

While panelist talked about what their groups are doing, the Indiana Latino Institute, wanted to make sure they are on board with the institute’s mission. ILI wanted to educate Latino leaders on the importance of Indianapolis becoming smoke free. In the Midwest, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are all smoke free states. Why not Indianapolis? Why not Indiana?... Latinos are at high risk for health complications related to tobacco due to first hand or secondhand smoke, as 60% of the Latino community work in the service industry where many places are still not completely smoke free. It is important for Indianapolis to pass a comprehensive smoke free ordinance that covers all workers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

South Dakota Now Smoke Free

Last week voters in South Dakota passed a referendum to make all businesses in the state smoke free including bars and casinos. South Dakota now joins 28 other states that have passed policies that cover restaurants and bars. The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

As you can see Indiana is again falling behind the rest of the nation to protect our workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. There will probably be a bill introduced this upcoming session to make all Indiana businesses smoke free, hopefully our legislative leaders will make the right decision by passing a strong smoke free air law in Indiana.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Day

Tomorrow is election day, remember to get out and vote! Choices you make tomorrow can impact things in Indianapolis for years to come, so please make an informed decision. Here is an election guide from WTHR to check out before you go tomorrow: