Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blowing Smoke

This Saturday May 1, 2010, the Dr. Ron Davis Smoke Free Air Law goes into effect in Michigan. Many restaurant and bar owners are concerned about losing customers, because of the law.

There will be a vocal minority of smokers who are going to voice their displeasure about not being able to smoke in a restaurant or bar. They are in the minority. Currently in Michigan, about 20% of the population smokes. That means 80% of us do not smoke.

We need to put a positive face on the Smoke Free Air Law. We want the restaurant and bar owners to realize their business will actually increase! I know of several restaurants I will visit now that I will be able to breathe clean air while I eat.

What can you do to help put a positive face on the Smoke Free Air Law? During the month of May, visit some restaurants you have avoided in the past because of the smoke. Tell the restaurant owners and managers how much you enjoy eating in their restaurants now that they are smoke free. With a smile on your face, tell them you plan to come back often!

Of course, let's not forget the people who will feel the effects of this new law. That is the people who are addicted to tobacco. As a former smoker, I can tell you, it is an addiction. As mentioned earlier, 20% of the Michigan population smokes. In the WISEWOMAN population it is closer to 30%.

Maybe this law will be the nudge your WISEWOMAN participant needs to help her decide to quit. If you have a WISEWOMAN participant who need help quitting, tell her about the Michigan Tobacco Quitline. The number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Everything is Coming Up Veggies!

With the signs of spring now firmly in place around the state, WISEWOMAN is gearing up to begin another year of Entrepreneurial Gardening. This project, a partnership between WISEWOMAN in District Health Department #2 and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), is in its third year and has WISEWOMAN participants growing fruits and vegetables in backyard and community gardens. The gardeners then sell their produce at local farmer’s markets.

The program was piloted in Ogemaw County under the leadership of Helen DeFlorio, Extension Educator (and Hometown Health Hero), with Ogemaw County MSUE. This year Helen will be instrumental in expanding the program throughout Northern Michigan.