City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance

In this video, Deb Heffner, Community Health Coordinator for the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance, discusses the goals and efforts of the program.

Smoking, second-hand smoke, use of other tobacco products, and health disparities are serious problems in the Milwaukee area that pose health risks to both the smoker and surrounding individuals and children. Our tobacco prevention program is dedicated to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use and exposure in the City of Milwaukee.

In 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services selected the Public Policy Institute to lead Milwaukee’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, forming the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance. Through education and community mobilization, we work to eliminate health disparities, highlight the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics, and implement effective tobacco prevention and control policy interventions.

The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance focuses primarily on a few key areas: youth tobacco use prevention including other tobacco products, WI WINS tobacco compliance checks, and eliminating health disparities in tobacco use (low-income, LGBTQ+, and communities of color).

The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance fills several critical roles, including:

  • Outreach and education to the media, key local and state leaders, and the general public about current tobacco control issues and policy initiatives. We helped implement the WI Smoke-Free Air Act throughout Milwaukee, a 2010 statewide law ensuring smoke-free air in bars, restaurants, and all other workplaces in Wisconsin. We collaborate on the Clear Gains initiative to advocate for smoke-free housing.

  • Engaging youth in the FACT program, which empowers youth to speak out and mobilize against the tobacco industry. We partner with Neu Life Community Development for FACT.

  • Conducting compliance checks in partnership with WI WINS and the Milwaukee Police Department, ensuring that local tobacco retailers are not selling tobacco products to underage consumers.

  • Collaborating with a variety of community partners in forming a cross-sector coalition of tobacco prevention supporters, utilizing city resources and building grassroots awareness.

  • Addressing disparities in tobacco use, including conducting a readiness assessment for LGBTQ+ tobacco prevention in the City of Milwaukee.

To get involved, or for more information, please contact Anneke Mohr at amohr@communityadvocates.net or (414) 270-2948.

On The Blog

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Menthol Tobacco Marketing in African American Communities

Posted June 22, 2017

The impact of targeted marketing of menthol products has been devastating. Tobacco is the leading contributor to the three main ...

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Project Publications

Community Readiness Assessment Report, Opening the Doors to LGBTQ+ Tobacco Prevention

This report provides results from a Community Readiness Assessment conducted in 2014 by the City ...