A letter in the May 22 Tomahawk Leader:
To the Editor:
I’m writing to publicly commend Gov. Jim Doyle for his efforts to prevent Wisconsin kids from starting to smoke and to help adults quit smoking. His comprehensive, statewide initiative will expand smoking cessation programs and improve public health for all Wisconsinites.
Many organizations and citizens across our state are voicing strong support for the initiative. The Wisconsin Medical Society calls it, "a wonderful thing because the costs associated with smoking are astronomical. "The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans agrees, saying, "The governor’s initiative will lower overall health care costs and enable more employers and consumers to afford health insurance."
Gov. Doyle’s initiative will include negotiation with tobacco companies for a $180 million settlement annually to pay for efforts to help people stop smoking and to prevent kids from starting. Throughout the governor’s career, he has fought to protect our kids; but too many kids are still lighting up, too many lives are being cut short, and the cost of treating tobacco-related illnesses in Wisconsin has swelled into the billions.
As mother of a 30-year-old son diagnosed with lung cancer, I urge the community to join me in encouraging the legislature to approve Gov. Doyle’s anti-smoking initiative.
Let’s make Wisconsin a national leader in efforts to tackle youth smoking, joining three other states that fund smoking prevention and cessation programs at the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians says, "We applaud the governor’s efforts." The Wisconsin Public Health Association notes that, "Gov. Doyle has taken the leadership necessary to help smokers quit, prevent young people from ever picking up the habit, and combating the public health threat of secondhand smoke."
May we join together to do what we can – what needs to be done – to protect our children.