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Smoke Free News for April 2015

In this issue:

Two Free Workshops in May

for Landlords

The Four Corners Partnership will host two workshops for area landlords during May.  Pick the date/location that works best for you.  The one-hour workshops will be presented in a “Lunch and Learn” format.

There is no cost for the workshop or for lunch.

May 7

Red Wing

Get details

May 19


Get details

“Property managers and owners who are considering a smoke-free policy for their rental property should definitely attend one of these free workshops. We will provide them with everything they need to successfully implement a smoke-free policy,” said Tom Wolff, Tobacco Grant Coordinator for Goodhue County Health and Human Services. “Landlords who already have a smoke-free policy, but still have questions, have also found these workshops to be very helpful.”

They will include presentations by the director of the Live Smoke Free program and an attorney from the Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law. There will also be time for landlords to get their questions answered by these two experts.

Smoke-free policies are good for business and good for health. It can cost landlords thousands of dollars to clean up and repair the damage from smoking in an apartment or townhome.

The same tobacco smoke that causes damage to property also puts the health of residents and staff at risk. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke-free policies are the only effective way to protect everyone from secondhand smoke.



2015 Steele County Free Fair

Will Be Smoke-Free

The Steele County Fair Board approved a smoke-free policy at their March meeting. Smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes will be limited to a few designated areas on the fairgrounds. A decision on the size and location of the designated smoking areas will be made at the May meeting of the Fair Board.

In consideration of the large number of guests that attend the Steele County Free Fair, smoking (including use of electronic cigarettes) will be allowed only in designated areas during the fair.

Steele County Fair Board policy statement

The Four Corners Partnership conducted a survey during the 2014 Steele County Free Fair. An overwhelming majority (82.9 percent) supported a tobacco-free fair, where no use of any tobacco products would be permitted.

Jane Nyquist, Health Educator for Steele County Public Health, presented the survey results to the Fair Board at their February meeting. She encouraged them to adopt a tobacco-free policy, which would have prohibited the use of any tobacco products anywhere on the fairgrounds. Jane has continued to work with the fair staff as they make a plan for the designated smoking areas.

The Steele County Free Fair is the largest free fair in the state. The 2014 attendance was 339,671. The Minnesota State Fair has restricted smoking to designated areas since 2013 and added electronic cigarettes to their policy in 2014.



Four Corners Partnership Launches Media Campaign
Educating communities about the dangers of secondhand smoke is the primary focus of an initiative recently launched by the Four Corners Partnership.

“Many people still don’t understand that secondhand smoke is not just an annoyance, but a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and nonsmoking adults,” said Tracy Ackman-Shaw, Health Educator at Rice County Public Health. “We have known since 2006 that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

The Four Corners Partnership is one of nine organizations participating in a coordinated media effort funded by the Minnesota Department of Health. The plan debuted last month with radio ads on KOWZ-FM and KDHL-AM and newspaper ads, as well as ads on billboards and public transit. Elements of the campaign will continue into August.

“We were very fortunate to receive the funding from the Minnesota Department of Health that made this ad campaign possible,” Ackman-Shaw said. “Asthma is only one of the serious diseases that are caused or made worse by being exposed to secondhand smoke. We hope the day will come soon when all of our children can grow up in a healthy environment that is free from secondhand smoke.”



Steele County Board Approves Tobacco-Free Policy

Citing their commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment, the Steele County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a tobacco-free policy at their meeting on March 17, 2015.

The use of any type of tobacco-product on county-owned or leased property is now prohibited. The use of electronic cigarettes and other electronic delivery devices is also prohibited.  The new policy applies to county staff and to all visitors to county property. It took effect on March 27, 2015

Some examples of county properties covered by this new policy include the grounds of the County Administration Center, County Annex, County Office Building, County Courthouse, and County Detention Center.

The county fairgrounds and the county parks are the only county properties that have an exception. Tobacco use will be permitted only in designated areas at the fairgrounds and parks.  Outside of these designated areas, the fairgrounds and parks will be 100 percent tobacco-free.  A final decision has not yet been made about the exact location of these designated areas.  The Steele County Free Fair will have its own tobacco-free policy for the week of the fair (see related story above).

This new policy came about after a lengthy process involving input from many members of the Steele County staff. Jane Nyquist, Health Educator at Steele County Public Health, played a prominent role leading and advising the process. Signs announcing the new policy have been installed on the grounds of county buildings. All visitors to county buildings are expected to refrain from using tobacco products or electronic cigarettes while they are on county property.






Smoke-Free News Archives

Read recent editions of the Smoke Free News


January 2015 - read newsletter


October 2014 - read newsletter


June 2014 - read newsletter


January 2014 - read newsletter

October 2013 - read newsletter


August 2013 - read newsletter

January 31, 2013 - read newsletter

November 29, 2012 - read newsletter