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advocacy

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current projects

UWO Tobacco-Free Campus Exploration: UW Oshkosh's Health and Safety Committee has been working in collaboration with re:TH!NK and SPARK since early 2012 to explore the idea of going tobacco-free. A survey went out to the entire campus asking for opinions and the results were shared in early February at an open forum.

Expanding the Cheers! Responsible Beverage Server Training: Changes are being looked at in local ordinances to require additional server training (developed by re:TH!NK) as a condition to obtain a bartender's license and to make training mandatory for alcohol servers at special events.

Tobacco Tax Equity: In Wisconsin, non-cigarette tobacco products, or other tobacco products, are not taxed at the same rate as cigarettes because of a loop-hole in state law. Tobacco prevention advocates across WI are working to educate decision-makers about the potential risk, cheaper, more accessible, and more attractive tobacco products pose to our youth.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: This has continued to be actively monitored and should be fully operational by the end of 2012.

past achievements

Parents are the Key: This is a collaborative program involving parents, children, schools, driver education, and the Division of Motor Vehicles to promote safety of teenagers operating motor vehicles. Included in the education is underage drinking eradication, no texting or talking on the phone while driving, and other issues. More information on the program is available on the PRK page.

24/7 Program, April 2011: Our community said NO to OWI recidivism! re:TH!NK partnered with county officials and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office to implement the 24/7 Mandatory Sobriety Program. Now, second-time offenders (and beyond) who operate vehicles while intoxicated must check in twice daily or else wear an alcohol detection bracelet ensuring they remain alcohol-free. This offender-paid program is projected to keep growing and preventing harms related to alcohol abuse/misuse.

Update, January 2012: The sheriff has reported that the program is going well and the judges are favorably impressed. Efforts are now underway to see if the program can be expanded to the post-conviction stage of cases as an alternative to ignition interlock.

K2 Ordinance, February 2011: re:TH!NK champions mobilized police chiefs along with city council members to pass a K2 ordinance banning the sale of dangerous synthetic marijuana. This swift action resulted in various bans countywide by each municipality and called for the immediate removal of this lookalike drug from the shelves of convenience stores...and out of the hands of youth.

Social Host Ordinance, January 2011: Hosting underage parties REALLY adds up! Thanks to Lt. Vendola Messer and Sheriff John Matz, rural areas of our county are being addressed. Reserving a hotel room, providing beer in the basement, or providing alcohol to youth at bonfire parties - no matter the setting, ALL are ILLEGAL and PUNISHABLE by the social host ordinance in the Winnebago County townships. The passage of this ordinance expanded the already existing state law related to furnishing alcohol to minors.

Update, January 2012: The Advocacy Committee worked collaboratively with legislators to eliminate an enforceability problem in the statute prohibiting adults from providing a place for underage drinking.

Smoke-Free Air Ordinances, Summer 2010: The City of Neenah and the Town of Menasha adopted Wisconsin's statewide smoke-free air law into their local codes in order to more easily ensure compliance and clear up language regarding "enclosed spaces."

For more information about re:TH!NK's Advocacy Committee, contact
Joe Yana, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Barry Busby, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (920) 236-1247

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re:TH!NK is a project of the Winnebago County Health Department that would not exist without
support from our local partner agencies, organizations and community members.