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Smoke Free News for September 2016

In this issue:


Landlord workshop in Faribault: get more details


2016 Rice County Fair Tobacco-Free
Did you go to the Rice County Fair, July 19 - 24, 2016? This was the first ever Rice County Fair with a tobacco-free policy for the fairgrounds. Tobacco use during the fair was limited to four designated outdoor areas. Tracy Ackman-Shaw, a Health Educator for Rice County Public Health, worked with the county fair staff to help them implement the new tobacco-free policy.

Rice County Public Health had a display at the fair that included a thank you to the Rice County Fair Board for passing this policy.


Take Our Survey: Tobacco-Free Parks and Outdoor Recreation Facilities

We asked adults who visited our booth at the Rice County Fair to complete a survey about tobacco-free policies for parks and outdoor recreation facilities. Even though attendance at this summer’s fair was down due to several days with extreme heat, 144 surveys were collected.

What do you think?

Should the parks in your community be tobacco-free?

We want to hear from you!

Click here to take the Survey

MN State Senator Vicki Jensen completes our Tobacco-Free Parks survey at the Rice County Fair.
Ellendale City Park Tobacco-Free
The small town of Ellendale in southwestern Steele County has one more thing to be proud of - a tobacco-free policy for their city park. The city council passed a comprehensive tobacco-free policy on June 22, 2016.

The council members wanted to provide a safe and healthy environment so that everyone in the community could enjoy using the city’s outdoor recreation facilities. Members of the community who have respiratory conditions, such as asthma, will now be able to breathe easy while they enjoy a beautiful day in the park.

The new policy will also help to discourage youth from starting to use tobacco by showing them that using tobacco is not a desirable activity.

Read more about Ellendale park policy: Owatonna People's Press 08/25/16


Are They Real Fish?

Visitors to our displays this summer at the Rice County Fair and Goodhue County Fair, especially young children, wanted to know - were the fish in the aquarium real? The water in the aquarium was real, but the fish were life-like replicas. There was also a one-gallon jar full of very real cigarette butts.

We wanted to raise awareness that cigarette butts are toxic waste. An experiment at San Diego State University showed that the toxic chemicals in cigarette butts can kill fish.

This was an experiment done in a laboratory and not a study of what happens in the real world, but the results of the experiment were clear. All of the fish in the control group lived. Adding one cigarette butt per liter of water killed half of the fish in the other test tanks. All of the fish were kept in identical tanks. The only difference was adding the chemicals from cigarette butts to some of the tanks.

Did you know that cigarette butts are the number one most littered item in the United States?

The city of San Francisco has estimated that it spends $11 million a year just to clean up cigarette butts!

3 Ways Cigarette Butts Are TOXIC to the Environment:
  1. Cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable.
  1. Cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the environment including lead, arsenic and nicotine - the same toxic chemicals found in secondhand smoke.
  1. Cigarette butts are poisonous to children, pets and wildlife.

Tobacco-free policies keep our parks and outdoor recreation facilities safe and free from toxic cigarette butt litter.



Meet Kaitlyn "Kaiti" Suhr

Hello, my name is Kaitlyn “Kaiti” Suhr and I have recently been hired by Dodge County Public Health as a Health Educator.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health with a focus on Community Health from Winona State University, Winona in May of 2016. I am very excited to be able to work with the residents of Dodge County. I will be educating the public about the harm caused by tobacco use as well as 24-hour smoke-free policies for in-home daycares. This work is funded by a grant from ClearWay Minnesota.

Public Health policy work is a topic that has always interested me and I am excited that I get the opportunity to be an advocate for policies to reduce the harm caused by tobacco. I am passionate about this work because I believe it is important that policies are being put forth to protect those who cannot protect themselves from the effects of tobacco use in their environment.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and our two dogs Bailey and Abigail. I am an avid Packer fan and enjoy reading a wide variety of books.







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