July 20, 2015
ISSUE 5-15

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Yours in prevention,
Kari Lerch
Deputy Director, Public Policy Institute

Celebrating 5 years of smoke-free Wisconsin businesses  

July 5th marked five years since Wisconsin became a smoke-free state. The City of Milwaukee Tobacco Free-Alliance and other tobacco prevention and control partners are celebrating this important milestone throughout the month, affirming that the law has helped make safer indoor air-quality in bars and restaurants, healthier bartenders, lower smoking-rates, and even more smoke-free home rules.


However, challenges remain, especially for Milwaukee's people of color and those living in poverty. The tobacco industry continues to disproportionately target urban communities with intense advertising and promotional efforts, leading to much higher tobacco use for those populations. While Wisconsin's overall smoking rate is 18%, the rate is 26% and 27% for Hispanic/Latino and African Americans respectively. Furthermore, for those with an income of less than $15,000, the rate is 35% (Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System).


The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance says that "Smoking may be on the decline, but our fight to protect the health of our communities and decrease the disparities is far from over. We remain committed to helping adult tobacco users quit and preventing teens from getting addicted in the first place."


Read the full article here

Youth Works MKE program brings new possibilities to Milwaukee 

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) selected the Youth Works Milwaukee program, administered by the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, to be a test program for implementation of a "pay for success" model of funding. The NCCD selected Milwaukee in a national competition and is assisting the Public Policy Institute with technical support. 


This model of funding focuses on social impact investing, in which funding comes from both public and private investments, with private funders having the possibility to make a profit if the program is successful. This is the first program in Milwaukee to try this type of funding, and this could lead to more stable funding for programs in Milwaukee in the future. 


The Youth Works Milwaukee program is a yearlong program designed to reduce the rate of violent crime in adolescent black males by providing jobs, life coaching, and mentoring. 


Read more about the Youth Works MKE program

Increase in liquid nicotine poisoning leads FDA to consider increased regulation   

Following a startling increase in hospital visits and poison control calls relating to ingestion of liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is exploring placing new warning labels and child-resistant packaging for the products. Many of the calls sadly involved children under the age of 6 who suffered serious health consequences from ingesting the liquid nicotine, including death, for one toddler in upstate New York this past December.


Currently, there are no FDA regulations on e-cigarettes, although detailed plans were released last year to do so, including banning sales to anyone under 18 and placing health warning labels. Additionally, e-cigarettes have also not been approved by the FDA as a cessation device.


The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance remains increasingly concerned about e-cigarettes as they gain in popularity with a particular appeal to youth. The 2013-2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that nationally, the use of e-cigarettes among youth has more than tripled in the last year. FDA is accepting public comment on the issue for 60 days.  


Read the full Washington Post article 


Unprecedented level of heroin deaths in one week   

During the week of June 28-July 4, there were 16 deaths in Milwaukee County that are suspected to be heroin related, a spike that has never been seen in Milwaukee County before. The 16 deaths this week equal more than a quarter of the 44 heroin deaths in Milwaukee County since June 6.

Milwaukee county, as well as the rest of the nation, has seen a shocking increase in heroin-related deaths over the past few years. There was no immediate explanation for the drastic spike in deaths. All cases reported are seemingly unrelated and happened throughout the week. Potential reasons for the spike include the possibility that a more pure form of the drug has becoming available, or that users are mixing heroin with a new painkiller.

2014 had a record high of 119 heroin related-deaths while the current total for 2015 stands at 60, and we need to work towards drastically lowering these numbers in the years to come.

Read more in the Journal Sentinel
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In This Issue
Celebrating 5 years of smoke-free Wisconsin businesses
Youth Works MKE program brings new possibilities to Milwaukee
Increase in liquid nicotine poisoning leads FDA to consider increased regulation
Unprecedented level of heroin deaths in one week
Event Announcements
          July 7- August 18
Milwaukee, WI
COA Youth & Family Centers is putting on Skyline Music Concerts throughout the months of July and August. More information available online


Milwaukee, WI

The Parenting Network hosts a group for fathers that follows the 24/7 Dad curricula of the National Fatherhood Initiative. More information available here.   



Milwaukee, WI 

The Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee is sponsoring a variety of events in the near future. More information available here.   


Job Opportunities


Whitefish Bay High School is seeking a Guidance Counselor. Questions regarding the position may be addressed to Principle Bill Henkle. Apply online.  


Funding Opportunities


The State's RFP for the Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative was recently released. Any agencies or external partners interested in receiving funding can apply here.      

         Brighter Futures
The Prevention Journal is brought to you by the Community Advocates Public Policy InstituteFor more information on each of our prevention programs, click on their respective logos above.