Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation gets new coordinator

Friday, April 15, 2011

The cause to reduce tobacco use among Hoosiers in Putnam County is alive and well, thanks to the Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition. Through the combined efforts of the Coalition and Putnam County Hospital, Chris Shuck was recently hired as the new program coordinator.

"We are very excited to have Chris be a part of the team," said Dennis Weatherford, CEO of Putnam County Hospital. "It's great to know that the program will be able to continue with effective leadership. Chris brings a lot of qualities to the table that will be important as we work toward the goal of improving the overall health of the residents in the county. "

Most recently, Shuck worked as campaign manager for former State Rep. Nancy Michael of Greencastle. On top of his political experience, Shuck has worked with the public through volunteer activities and in a professional financial capacity.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity," Shuck said. "Greencastle is essentially the first town of its size to go smoke-free in Indiana. There is still a lot of work to be done, and the potential for Putnam County to be a leader in the reduction of tobacco use is very high."

Responsibilities of the program coordinator include working with patients at Putnam County Hospital as they try to quit using tobacco products, reaching out to mental health providers to educate their clients on the dangers of tobacco use, promoting youth cessation programs, partnering with the Coalition for Prevention, Intervention and Education (P.I.E.), teaching Tobacco Awareness Program (T.A.P.) and Tobacco Education Group (T.E.G.) classes, meeting with physicians as well as encouraging businesses to create smoke-free environments for their employees and visitors.

When asked about the controversy that surrounds the subject of tobacco cessation Shuck responded, "I think the misconception is that this program exists in order to force people to quit smoking. That simply isn't true. A lot of that is centered in public policy and the discussion in the Statehouse recently about the statewide smoking ban. This program exists to give people who want to quit using tobacco the resources to accomplish that goal."

The Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is supported by a grant that is administered by the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC) organization at the state level. This year marks ITPC's 10th anniversary. Because of the program many people have access to the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUITNOW. This is a free service provided to any Indiana resident. Phone calls to the Quitline are anonymous and provide counseling for those wishing to find healthy ways to quit using tobacco.

For more information on how to volunteer, or to get help quitting tobacco, persons may contact Shuck at 655-2697.

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  • Absolutely,Benedick,got my vote!

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Apr 15, 2011, at 7:33 AM
  • Every store that sells tobacco products already has a license to sell said tobacco products! If a store doesn't have a tobacco license then they are by state law not allowed to sell tobacco products.

    Also these are the fines pertaining to selling to someone underage. The fines are actually doubled because they are applied to the establishment and to the worker who sold to an underage individual.

    So it is $200 for store and $200 for person who was working and sold product and so on and so on.

    After 3rd offense the state can pull the tobacco license of store at any time they wish.

    The problem is the parents of the underage kids. Be a parent!! Know what your child is doing. Know where they are and who they are spending time with. Don't purchase tobacco or alcohol for a child who is underage. Alot of parents do this and think it is ok. ***NEWSFLASH***IT IS NOT OK TO PURCHASE TOBACCO OR ALCOHOL FOR AN UNDERAGE PERSON PERIOD!

    IC 35-46-1-11.7

    Minors prohibited from entering retail establishment that primarily sells tobacco products; posting notices required; civil penalties

    Sec. 11.7. (a) A retail establishment that has as its primary purpose the sale of tobacco products may not allow an individual who is less than eighteen (18) years of age to enter the retail establishment.

    (b) An individual who is less than eighteen (18) years of age may not enter a retail establishment described in subsection (a).

    (c) A retail establishment described in subsection (a) must conspicuously post on all entrances to the retail establishment the following:

    (1) A sign in boldface type that states "NOTICE: It is unlawful for a person less than 18 years old to enter this store.".

    (2) A sign printed in letters and numbers at least one-half (1/2) inch high that displays a toll free phone number for assistance to callers in quitting smoking, as determined by the state department of health.

    (d) A person who violates this section commits a Class C infraction. Notwithstanding IC 34-28-5-4(c), a civil judgment for an infraction committed under this section must be imposed as follows:

    (1) If the person has not been cited for a violation of this section in the previous one hundred eighty (180) days, a civil penalty of up to two hundred dollars ($200).

    (2) If the person has had one (1) violation in the previous one hundred eighty (180) days, a civil penalty of up to four hundred dollars ($400).

    (3) If the person has had two (2) violations in the previous one hundred eighty (180) days, a civil penalty of up to seven hundred dollars ($700).

    (4) If the person has had three (3) or more violations in the previous one hundred eighty (180) days, a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).

    A person may not be cited more than once every twenty-four (24) hours.

    (e) Notwithstanding IC 34-28-5-5(c), civil penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the Richard D. Doyle youth

    tobacco education and enforcement fund established under IC 7.1-6-2-6.

    (f) A person who violates subsection (a) at least six (6) times in any one hundred eighty (180) day period commits habitual illegal entrance by a minor, a Class B infraction.

    -- Posted by bottomline on Fri, Apr 15, 2011, at 12:35 PM
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