Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great American Smokeout

Today is the Great American Smokeout. Back in May, our state took a huge step in the direction of public health when our workplaces became smoke free.

Last week, the House Regulatory Reform Committee chose not to hear Representative Geiss' bill to weaken the smokefree air law. This is directly in response to all the messages our advocates sent in a mere 24 hours demanding the law remain unchanged. Thank you to everyone that made calls and helped in this effort.

Now that we know some lawmakers are willing to weaken the smokefree air law, please help us by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of the smokefree law.

Over the last six months, Michigan workers and patrons have enjoyed going to work without worrying about breathing secondhand smoke. Unfortunately, over that time a small number of people have been fighting to have our elected officials change this great public health law. The media and some legislators are listening to these people and our voice is not being heard.

We've fought too hard for too long for smokefree air. Don't let a few people in our state sabotage our progress. We cannot become complacent nd think our work is done.

Today, in honor of the Great American Smokeout, we are asking you to submit a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper.

Legislators and our newly elected officials keep close tabs on what is being discussed in their district, so if you have a personal story or just feel trongly about Michigan's smokefree air law, a Letter to the Editor is a great way to express yourself!

Please email if you are interested in submitting a letter and we'll help you get started.
We waited a long time for this healthy change. Now, it's hard to believe we ever allowed smoking in our work places.

It's been a great first six months of the smokefree law.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Michigan ranks 42nd in latest study

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids issued a press release indicating that Michigan ranks 42nd in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.

This news is sad but unsurprising given the fact that the state spends a measly 2.1% of the CDC recommended funding level. Although the state took a step in the right direction when it passed the smoke free law last December, it has failed to adequately provide fund tobacco dependence treatment programs that would help smokers quit. It has also continued its pattern of drastically underfunding prevention measures, thereby contributing to the increase in tobacco use among high schoolers.

This trend of increased use and decreased funding can be reversed. Shifting the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) tax rate to a price-based model on par with the cigarette tax would generate over $40 million for the state and would yield a 24% decrease in youth OTP usage.

For more information on Michigan's OTP rates, please join us at a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, November 18th titled "Tobacco Tax Increases as a Strategy to Prevent and Eliminate Tobacco Use." The webinar begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00 noon EST. Contact for more information.

For more information on TFK's settlement reports, including the full report and state-specific information, can be obtained at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The Dr. Ron Davis Smoke Free law is UNDER ATTACK! Just six months into a successful implementation period, Representative Doug Geiss (D-Taylor) wants to reopen the issue and WEAKEN the law, potentially exposing thousands of Michigan’s citizens to the dangers of second hand smoke…AGAIN. WE CANNOT STAND FOR THIS!

Representative Geiss’s bill (HB 5803) proposes that we go back to the farce that was the non-smoking section by introducing "Legal Smoking
Rooms." Geiss claims that ventilation systems will take care of the noxious chemicals that leach through everything in their path. Study after study has shown that ventilation systems do not work and are incapable of removing the harm secondhand smoke poses.

The bill also exempts "licensed clubs" from the smoke free law. This exemption could potentially give any bar or restaurant the ability to file an affidavit with the state calling itself a membership club and thereby allowing smoking. No need to read between the lines here, folks, Representative Geiss wants Michigan’s servers to wade through the thick clouds of smoke once again.
The Regulatory Reform Committee will be taking up this bill today, November 10 at NOON in the House Office Building Room 326. If you’re in the Lansing area, please come and show your support for the Smoke Free Law. If you cannot make it to the hearing, CALL, FAX, AND EMAIL the members of the committee and tell them how much you LOVE smoke free Michigan and that you OPPOSE any changes to weaken the law:

Representative Bert Johnson *Chair
Phone: (517) 373-0144
Fax: (517) 373-8929

Harold Haugh *Vice-Chair
Phone: (517) 373-0854
Fax: (517) 373-5911

Representative Pam Byrnes
Phone: (517) 373-0828
Fax: (517) 373-5783

Representative Tim Melton
Phone: (517) 373-0475
Fax: (517) 373-5061

Representative Bettie Cook Scott
Phone: (517) 373-1776
Fax: (517) 373-8502

Representative Woodrow Stanley
Phone: (517) 373-8808
Fax: (517) 373-5997

Representative Jon M. Switalski
Phone: (517) 373-1772
Fax: (517) 373-5906

Representative Tory Rocca
Phone: (517) 373-7768

Representative Hugh Crawford
Phone: (517) 373-0827

Representative Rick Jones
Phone: (517) 373-0853

Representative Jim Stamas
Phone: (517) 373-1791