Real Wisconsinites share their smoke-free stories

Department of Health and Family Services Secretary Kevin R. Hayden
announced the kick-off of a new anti-tobacco campaign. The campaign,
entitled “My SmokeFree Story,” features nine Wisconsin residents
talking about their experiences with secondhand smoke and encourages
listeners to tell their story.  

“Everyone has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air,” said
Secretary Hayden.  “With this campaign, we are going beyond the
statistics on secondhand smoke, and we’re showing its human cost.
With both Minnesota and Illinois now smoke-free, it’s time to act
before we become the ashtray of the Midwest.”

Secretary Hayden was joined by Eliz Greene of Milwaukee and Harrison
Loveall of Appleton, two of the people featured in the campaign.  

“I was a victim of secondhand smoke,” said Loveall, who once had to
be taken to the hospital as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.
“My chest kept getting tighter and tighter to the point where I
couldn’t breathe.  When it hits you like that, you realize how serious
secondhand smoke is.”

The Surgeon General has declared secondhand smoke to be a serious
public health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children
and non-smoking adults.   The Surgeon General has also reported that
there is no risk-free exposure to secondhand smoke.

“You know, when you go into some place that’s smoky and you come out
and you smell your hair and you smell your clothes and it smells like
smoke?,” said Greene, whose daughter Callie suffers from secondhand
smoke-triggered asthma.  “Just think about how much more absorbent
your lungs are than your clothes. It’s very frightening what secondhand
smoke can do to your body.”

The six-week campaign launches on January 29 and runs until the end of
March.  Two of the campaign’s radio spots will run statewide, while
others will run regionally, depending on the storyteller’s hometown.

The campaign encourages listeners to share their own story by calling
the toll-free number 1-866-94STORY or by visiting the campaign’s
website at  The site also features video and
photo of the campaign’s storytellers.

For more about tobacco control efforts in Wisconsin, visit