November 14, 2011
The Auburn Valley YMCA Living Tobacco-free Program is providing a free training with scientist and tobacco prevention advocate Dr. Jeffrey Wigand. You are invited to send your staff to attend our Tobacco 101 training December 1, 2011, 3 to 5 p.m. at Rainier Middle School in Auburn. Dr. Wigand’s presentation will provide evidence-based knowledge of the tobacco industry including: Tobacco products (smoke and smokeless), how it interacts with the brain, addiction, youth targeting, and strategies to help equip youth to resist tobacco initiation.
Dr. Wigand achieved national prominence as the tobacco industry’s highest ranking former executive to address public health and tobacco issues. He made the truth known to the public about the industry’s disregard for health and safety during a famous interview with 60 MINUTES.
Tobacco kills nearly a half-million people annually in the U.S. - more people than alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, car accidents, and Aids/HIV combined. Tobacco users cost employers on average $4000 per year in lost productivity. Conversely it costs about $400 a year to treat tobacco dependence. The best way to prevent tobacco addiction is to reach our youth before they start experimenting with it. The severely addicted tobacco users who are struggling to quit between the ages of 40 and 70 report starting tobacco initiation as young as 5 years old!
The Department of Health says that 15% of Washingtonians still smoke. These statistics do not include the number of people using smokeless tobacco products. Our youth are targeted by the tobacco industry as their next lifetime consumers, especially in their innovative smokeless products, ie; dissolvable strips, pellets, candy-coated tobacco ‘toothpicks,’ mini-mouth packets, hand gel, etc. Dr. Wigand says, “Tobacco is the only product sold legally in the U.S. that when used as intended, kills.” One out three children who try tobacco today will die from it. Tobacco use shortens lifespan, reduces quality of life, and causes poverty of money, self-esteem, confidence and achievement.
For the past two years Auburn Valley YMCA and Auburn Regional Medical Center have partnered in providing a free weekly support group and Saturday workshops through a generous grant from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. This Tobacco 101 training is funded through the MIT grant.
Your organization is also invited to attend a community leaders’ dinner at the Auburn Regional Medical Center, Thursday December 1, 6 to 8 p.m. Dr. Wigand will talk about how tobacco addiction destroys communities and engage attendees in a brainstorming session to combat the tobacco epidemic in our communities. In addition, the following day Dr. Wigand will be keynote speaker and workshop presenter at the Tobacco-free Alliance of Pierce County annual summit, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We are excited to bring Dr. Wigand to our community and hope your organization can join us for these very special events. For more information and RSVP, please contact Living Tobacco-free Program Coordinator Heidi Henson, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 253.223.7538.
Jason Berry, Executive Director
Auburn Valley YMCA