– The Connecticut Department of Public Health will host a free one-day conference on how to motivate staff, students, employees and others to be smoke free and to join an
organization’s or school’s smoke-free initiatives.

Titled “Motivation: Encouraging Staff, Students and Clients to Join Smoke-Free Efforts,” the workshop will take place Monday, March 19, 2007 at Bristol Public Library, 5 High Street in Bristol. This workshop is part of the ongoing Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Institute for Tobacco Education and Training.

“This workshop is a unique opportunity to learn about the art and science of motivation for individual and organizational change, most directly as it relates to instituting a smoke-free policy,” stated Renée Coleman-Mitchell, chief of the department’s Health Education, Management and Surveillance.

The workshop focuses on ways to motivate employees, students or clients to be smoke –free and to endorse a business’ or school’s decision to become smoke-free either through individual
cessation attempts or by encouraging peers not to smoke. Local and nationally recognized professionals with expertise in working with various age groups and settings will discuss creative methods of motivating and influencing others in creating tobacco-free environments. Health educators from St. Vincent’s Hospital, the American Lung Association and Big Y Supermarkets will discuss their experiences with smoking cessation initiatives in the workplace.

Persons interested in attending the conference, or who would like further information, may call Wheeler Clinic at (860) 793-2164 or e-mail dwiniarski@wheelerclinic.org by March 12. Registration is free and includes conference materials. Seating is limited and reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available.

The Institute for Tobacco Education and Training will offer two additional free workshops this spring on April 11 and June 6. The first will address efforts to challenge marketing efforts by the tobacco industry and the second will assist professionals in selecting the appropriate tobacco cessation method for their clients.

Smoking kills approximately 400,000 persons nationally per year, more deaths than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. In addition, approximately 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-caused conditions. Taxpayers yearly federal/state tax burden from smoking-caused government spending exceeds $55 billion. Tobacco prevention programs are effective in reducing smoking levels among adults and children, which helps to reduce health care costs.

For more information visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s website at http://www.dph.state.ct.us.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.