February 27, 2013
The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) will stop hiring people who use nicotine at its Pennsylvania locations beginning July 1.
The ban will not apply to the crop of residents who begin this summer, but will be in force for applicants for 2014 residency slots. Last year, there were 1,975 full-time faculty, 769 medical students, 775 PhD students, 1,135 residents and fellows, and 789 post-doctoral candidates working in the nearly 18,000-employee health system.
“Over 50 years of research has proven that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., imposing a huge health and financial burden on families and businesses,” the health system stated on its website. “Employees who smoke cost, on average, $3,391 more a year for healthcare. In addition, smoke breaks during work may be disruptive and subject patients/colleagues to the unpleasant smell of smoke on employees’ scrubs and clothing.”
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February 22, 2013
I’m pleased to announce a couple of changes in our bureau structure that are designed to bring significant gains to our work:
Effective Monday, February 25th, Erica Ferguson will assume a key role on our tobacco team as the point person in addressing tobacco prevention and cessation in the LGBTQ community of Arizona. This is a significant shift for us, as we seek to reduce tobacco use for the more than 150,000 people in this community who currently use tobacco. Tobacco is the leading cause of chronic disease and death across all populations, and for every person that we can help quit tobacco, an additional 10 – 30 years of productive living can be realized. We are proud to bring Erica’s skills, networking, and commitment to this critical area.
Also, I’m pleased to announce that Ben Palmer, who has been serving as a point person in our overall marketing and communications work, will be fully dedicated to the tobacco team. It is important to note that Ben will continue to be available to all areas on an “as needed” basis, but that he will also be dedicating his time and talent to specific program areas in tobacco control.
Both of these moves are part of the larger effort to re-think our directions for the next five years in tobacco control. They have been made at least partially possible with the introductions of John Sapero, who will have a “hands-on” role with the PPGA group, and Chris Minnick, who starts next week as the communications director of the Division of Public Health – Prevention Services. As one of the bureaus with a larger marketing budget, Chris, who has been the communications director for the New Mexico State Health Dept., will be able to play a significant role in our marketing efforts.
Wayne Tormala, Chief
Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease
February 13, 2013
Health Leadership Award recipient Gladys Cedillos is joined by OTCDP Office Chief Laurie Thomas and ACAS members.
Congratulations are in order for two Maricopa County Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention (OTCDP) employees who were recognized earlier this month with Health Leadership Awards presented by Arizonans Concerned About Smoking (ACAS).
Community Development Specialist Gladys Cedillos was recognized for her success in referring individuals to the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine). Consistently a top referrer to the service, ACAS noted her work in targeting disparate populations for tobacco cessation.
Rebecca Henry, Prevention Program Education Supervisor, was recognized for her efforts to help establish, promote and support tobacco-free campus priorities, especially at the Maricopa Community College District. On July 1, 2012, the District adopted the Maricopa BreatheEasy initiative, which prohibits smoking and use of tobacco products at all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges and associated District property.
Recognized for their efforts in leading the BreatheEasy initiative were (left to right) MCCD’s Bianca Rodriguez, Chancellor Rufus Glasper, Michele Hamm and OTCDP Prevention Program Education Supervisor Rebecca Henry.
The awards were presented at the ACAS’ 4th Annual Health Leadership Award Ceremony. Special guests included Mesa City Councilman Dennis Kavanaugh and the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Rufus Glasper, Chancellor of The Maricopa Community Colleges.
February 12, 2013
By Bill Pfeifer
Fri Feb 8, 2013
Tobacco advertising has been banned from television since 1971; however, this important blackout shockingly did not seem to apply to electronic cigarettes during this year’s Super Bowl.
We were stunned to see that twice during the nation’s largest televised sporting events, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix aired a commercial that touted the use of e-cigarettes. The close-ups of a male smoker’s fingers maneuvering the e-cigarette and the vapors — which appeared to be smoke — escaping from his mouth might as well have been a Marlboro cigarette: The similarities were cunning and the message dangerous.
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February 12, 2013
Legacy and Stand Members work together.
Teens from Arizona Collegiate High School’s STAND (Students Taking a New Direction) Youth Coalition recently received a special helping hand and a bit of mentoring from a group of college-age counterparts.
American Legacy Foundation Fellows, college-aged students from across the USA who work on tobacco policy change as part of the Foundation’s Youth Activism Fellowship Program, joined the students in a day-long event that put words into action.
The Legacy Fellows, who were attending an activism conference in Phoenix, took time out of their schedule to share ideas with the local students and partner in their effort to survey bus and light rail users and clean up cigarette butts.
Youth picked cigarette buts from METRO Light rail stations.
Legacy Foundation’s Youth Activism Manager Bennie Patterson started the day by providing an overview of advocacy topics such as education, outreach and action. After a fun-filled ice-breaker, the STAND students and Legacy Fellows divided into three teams. A community outreach team surveyed passengers waiting at bus stops and light rail stations about smoking. A media team took photos and tweeted about the event and the third team picked up cigarette butts at the light rail stations. The event closed with a roundtable discussion about the importance of advocacy and how both groups could continue their efforts.
STAND Youth get tips on how to conduct to survey from their LEGACY counterparts.
In addition to being a fun, productive and educational day, the teens were able to see first-hand through their interaction with the Legacy Fellows how they might be able to continue their tobacco prevention advocacy efforts after high school.