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Smoke Free News for January 2014

In this issue:

50th Anniversary of 1st Surgeon General's Report

on Smoking and Health

Crossroads Townhomes in Dodge Center

Ring in the New Year Smoke-Free

Smoke-Free Housing Workshop in Mantorville

Southside Apartments in Lonsdale are Smoke-Free

Meet Sagar Chowdhury:

New Four Corners Coordinator for Dodge County


Four Corners Partnership Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health

In the last 50 years there have been 32 Surgeon General Reports on Smoking and Health. In 1964, the first report concluded that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. Since then there have been more than 20 million preventable deaths linked to tobacco.

The latest report was released by acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak on January 16th. It concludes that smoking is even more dangerous than we previously realized. Smoking is now known to be a cause of liver cancer, diabetes, ectopic pregnancies, erectile dysfunction, and more. The report also concludes that secondhand smoke causes strokes.

These new findings are alarming, but what is perhaps even more alarming are the statistics in this report regarding children. Nearly half of all children between ages 3 and 18 in this country are exposed to cigarette smoke regularly.

Due to the influence that tobacco industry marketing has on youth, more than 3,200 American children younger than the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette every day. If current trends persist, 5.6 million U.S youth who are currently younger than 18 years of age will die prematurely during adulthood from their smoking.

The Four Corners Partnership is working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in Goodhue, Dodge, Rice, and Steele Counties, but it is going to take more local support to achieve our goal to help as many youth and adults as possible.

In the upcoming months the Four Corners Partnership will be holding four Lunch and Learn events to educate community members on ways you can advocate for a smoke-free life. More details on the Lunch and Learns to come.







Crossroads Townhomes in Dodge Center

Ring in the New Year Smoke-Free

Crossroads manager Becky Webinger.

On January 2, residents of The Crossroads townhomes in Dodge Center were invited to stop by the manager’s office to celebrate the start of a new smoke-free policy. They were treated to cookies, hot chocolate, and coffee. They also received a magnet saying “I have a smoke-free home.” On display in the office was a certificate of appreciation presented by Dodge County Public Health to the manager Becky Webinger.

“This is just another step in our efforts to make our property safe and healthy for all residents,” said Webinger, the on-site manager with Lloyd Management. Under the new policy, smoking is not permitted indoors or in outside areas within 25 feet of the townhomes. The decision to go smoke-free was made by the owners, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.

To prepare for the new policy, residents were invited to attend a presentation in October led by Webinger and Ruth Greenslade, health educator at Dodge County Public Health. After the new policy was explained and questions were answered, residents in all 36 units received new lease addendums. They had a choice to sign the new lease addendum, agreeing to follow the new rules, or move out.

By the beginning of December all of the residents had signed and returned their lease addendum agreeing to not smoke in their units or 25 feet from any buildings on the property. There are 5 multi-unit townhome buildings at The Crossroads.






Smoke-Free Housing Workshop in Mantorville

It was a cold day with blowing snow. This did not deter a group of landlords and community members from attending our “Lunch and Learn” workshop held on January 16th at the Hubbell House Restaurant. While enjoying a delicious lunch, they also learned about the benefits of smoke-free policies for multi-unit buildings, such as apartments and townhomes.

There were two guest speakers at this event. Kara Skahen, Program Director for the Live Smoke Free program shared her expertise on implementing smoke-free policies. Warren Ortland, an attorney from the Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law explained the legal issues.

The audience asked some good questions and our speakers were able to give them expert answers. Everyone left the workshop with a clear understanding of why smoke-free policies are good for business and good for health.










Southside Apartments in Lonsdale are Smoke-Free

Southside Apartments manager LeighAnne Curtis with certificate.

Residents of the Southside Apartments in Lonsdale no longer have to worry about secondhand smoke infiltrating into their residence from neighboring apartments. The manager, LeighAnne Curtis, no longer has to worry about the added cost of cleaning and repairing damage caused by tenants who smoke in their apartments. As of January 1, smoking is no longer permitted in any of the apartments or within 25 feet of the building.

The transition began in October when the building’s management company, Lloyd Management, notified the residents about the new policy. Curtis invited the residents to attend a presentation made by Lisa Guck and Andrea Kronbach of Rice County Public Health.  The residents learned about the health hazards caused by secondhand smoke and the importance of smoke-free policies.

According to the U. S. Surgeon General, smoke-free policies are the only effective way to protect all residents from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.

Kronbach presented the Southside Apartments with a certificate from the Four Corners Partnership and Rice County Public Health to recognize their contribution to improving the health of the community by implementing a smoke-free policy.





Meet Sagar Chowdhury

New Four Corners Coordinator
for Dodge County

Hello, my name is Sagar Chowdhury, I am the new Health Educator for Dodge County. As Health Educator one of my main responsibilities is to work with the Tobacco Free Communities and Clearway Minnesota Grants. This will be my first opportunity to work on Tobacco Prevention, and I am very excited to jump right in. I have seen the negative effects of not only smoking, but second hand smoke as well in many of my loved ones. It can be a difficult and frustrating topic at times, and I feel fortunate to be part of this partnership.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Biology Degree in December 2008. After working a few years I decided to continue my education and received a Masters in Public Health from Argosy University in December 2013. During my time at Argosy I had the opportunity to intern at the Minnesota Department of Health as well as the American Red Cross. These internships helped solidify my passion for public health, and working directly with communities to improve overall health.

My first day as Health Educator was January 13, 2013, so I am still fairly new to the position. I have primarily been training during my first weeks, trying to catch up on all the roles that I will be involved in. Although there is a lot of new information to take in, I cannot wait to contribute soon, and get out into the community!

Other than work, I have several other passions. One of my favorite activities is hiking and camping. I have been to Glacier National Park, The Boundary Waters, and Yellowstone multiple times. I also enjoy playing guitar, hanging out with my family and friends, and archery. Finally I am a bit of a sports fan, and enjoy watching as well as playing just about any sport I can. I look forward to working with all of you!




Smoke-Free News Archives

Read recent editions of the Smoke Free News

October 2013 - read newsletter

August 2013 - read newsletter


January 31, 2013 - read newsletter

November 29, 2012 - read newsletter