Monthly Archives: February 2010

Tobacco Around the World: New Zealand

I spent a month in New Zealand earlier this year, and when I wasn’t out in the bush on various treks, I noticed how NZ handles smokers and smoking. (Note for trekkers, the Milford Track in the Southern Alps on the South Island is awesome.)  The most visible evidence of NZ tobacco control efforts is the packaging.  About a third of the front panel of cartons and individual packs are covered with full color, grotesque photos accompanied by warnings: Read More »

Problem or Solution? Which Comes First?

In our I&E Planning Workgroup we’re having a debate: Which should come first in our key messages, the problem or the solution? On the one hand, having the problem come first catches the elected official’s attention, reminds them of the urgency of the issue, and reminds them that the problem of tobacco is not solved. However, leading with the problem means you end the meeting with the solution. This means you end on a happy note, letting the elected official feel like the problem is solved by your solution. Some people worry that this may make the elected official feel like there is no need to take action. Read More »

AVATAR: What’s Wrong with This Picture?

By Guest Blogger – Julia Shrader-Lauinger, California Youth Advocacy Network

Millions of people have seen the movie Avatar in the theatres since it was released in December.  And many of them noticed something strange in the movie’s first half hour:  Sigourney Weaver demanding a cigarette.  Never mind illogical inconsistencies, like it’s the future (don’t we all wish smoking would be obsolete by then?); that she’s a scientist, working in a lab, with lots of million dollar equipment around her (workplace regulations have been in place for ages); or that the humans are somewhere out in a self-contained space station (why add unnecessary contaminants into the ventilation system making the Pandora air breathable, increase risk of burning the whole facility down, or waste precious cargo space shipping cigarettes 5 light-years across the universe?).  Read More »

Wonder Twin Powers Activate!

I just read a pretty terrific op-ed by an unlikely duo … Lance Armstrong and Michael Bloomberg. What possibly could a world class athlete and a billionaire do-gooder with a political side hobby have in common? Read More »

I Like Bad Grades

Each year with the release of the State of Tobacco Control local report card we all feel it – that terrible sinking feeling like we’ve gotten bad grades in school. California got D’s & F’s. My city got a D. And communities where I’ve spent time working with the Center got F’s.

It always takes a minute to remind ourselves that it’s not us; we & our coalitions are not the ones being judged. It’s our elected officials being graded. They’re the ones who need to take action to protect their residents. And they’re the ones we elected to do just that. Read More »