Our Mission and Vision
To improve lifestyle choices and options in Marquette County through positive cultural and environmental changes.
Marquette County is a place where the community members are increasingly involved, healthy and successful.
Tobacco use shifting in county and state
While smoking is at an all time low for middle and high school students, the use of smokeless tobacco, cigars and e-cigarettes are up.
Higher cigarette taxes and the smoke-free laws have been factors in the decline of youth smoking. In addition to smoking less, young people are also being exposed to less secondhand smoke in the home. The number of high school youth that report living in homes where others smoke is down from 38.1% in 2012 to 19.7% in 2014.
Through the WI Wins program, Marquette County sends educational materials each year to local sellers, including SmokeCheck.org as a resource. Compliance checks are also done by the county to see if businesses are selling to minors. Last year 19 businesses were checked and 4 sold the tobacco product to the minor.
However, more young people are experimenting with smokeless tobacco, up from around 6% in 2012. Around 9% of high school students are also currently smoking cigars. In addition to coming in candy and fruit flavors, like cherry and grape, these products are taxed at a much lower rate than cigarettes in Wisconsin.
According to the Marquette County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, from this past year shows the number of high school students who reported using smokeless tobacco was up from 14% to 22%.
E-cigarettes are also used at a higher than average rate in Wisconsin. Around 8% of Wisconsin high school students currently use e-cigarettes compared to the national average of 4.5%. Like chew and small cigars, many e-cigarettes come in candy and fruit flavors. However, e-cigarettes still have not been proven safe or an effective way for smokers to quit.
For individuals in Marquette County seeking help to stop using tobacco products, call 1-800-QuitNow or contact Lauren Calnin, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at 608-297-3184
Heroin Use an Epidemic in Marquette County
Sheriff Kim Gaffney recently spoke at a Montello Rotary Club meeting about heroin use incidents in Marquette County. Since 2003 there have been 13 deaths caused by heroin. Overdoses occur on a regular basis.
Why has heroin become the drug of choice? It is cheap and easy to hide. While various prescription pain medications were recently popular on the streets, manufacturers have changed the formulas to make them time released. This causes addicts to look for an alternative. For those who become addicted to painkillers after a legitimate injury with a legal prescription, heroin becomes a substitute. According to undercover detectives, cocaine on the other hand, is a drug that is now rarely found in Marquette County.
Along with heroin comes other crime. The county currently has two people in custody who are believed to be connected to a string of burglaries. Investigators believe these crimes were committed by the need to get money for heroin.
Marquette County currently has three detectives for all crimes, but according to Gaffney, he could use 1-2 detectives on top of this just to pursue drugs alone. Most of the drugs that end up in the county come from the Chicago area. Some come from Madison and Milwaukee. A tenth of a gram sells for about $60, Gaffney said.
Help is available for those who are addicted to heroin or other drugs at Marquette Chemical Dependency Service. They can be contacted at 608-297-3181.
TIPS Class a Success
A TIPS (Training Intervention ProcdureS) class was recently held in Montello with 13 people in attendance. They varied in background from professional bartenders to business owners. As a result of a grant, books and the cost of the class are free to residents of Marquette County. When the grant money is no longer available, there may be a charge in the future.
The class is an interactive session, based on a video system, where students learn about behavioral cues to look for in someone who has had too much to drink. They also learn about ways to lessen their liability when serving alcohol and alternatives to serving a person who has had too much. The importance of measuring alcohol when mixing drinks is also stressed.
Students also learn about checking ID’s and the ID book published by Miller-Coors that helps bartenders spot a fake from any state and Canada.
Another course will be held in mid to late fall of this year. It is important for anybody serving alcohol to take this course. This can also include volunteers from civic organizations who work local festivals. Some insurance companies require the class to cover the civic organization.
If you have a group of seven or more servers who would like to take the class, a special session can be arranged. If you would like to be put on a list for the upcoming fall session, please call Sandy Vogel at 608-369-3095.
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