Michigan Multicultural Network Starts Smoke-Free Campaign

Contact: Beth Perrine (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

June 7, 2004

A new campaign encourages citizens to sign a pledge to keep their home smoke-free. The campaign – promoted by the Michigan Multicultural network – can protect friends and family from the harmful effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, officials said.

“When roughly one quarter of Michigan adults are smokers, the lives of hundreds of thousands are negatively impacted by the harmful effects of secondhand smoke,” said Janet Olszewski, Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Director. “Making a pledge to keep everyone in their home healthy by abstaining from smoking is a pledge I hope everyone in our diverse population will want to make and take seriously.”

The pledges will be distributed throughout the state by the Michigan Multicultural Network. The pledge brochure contains information on the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke in four languages – English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

To sign the smoke-free home pledge, citizens need to fill out a short, pre-paid postage form enclosed in the brochure. After the pledge is received, further information on secondhand smoke will be sent to the smoke-free home.

“Secondhand smoke is much more than an unpleasant smell or nuisance – it is a devastating agent that can play a hand in many respiratory infections, lung diseases, ear infections and asthma,” said Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan’s Surgeon General. “The only safe level of secondhand smoke is zero. Citizens of all ethnicities, ages and economic standings need to protect themselves and their families from even the smallest amount of smoke. Taking a smoke-free home pledge is an excellent way to start.”

The Michigan Multicultural Network is an MDCH program comprised of representatives from six community-based organizations representing five major ethnic groups. The groups are the Arab American and Chaldean Council, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, The Asian Center, Cristo Rey Community Center, Faith Access to Community and Economic Development, and Health and Human Services of Wayne County.