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WI Is Getting Ready For Workplace Wellness Week

April 5, 2010

BROOKFIELD, Wis. - Today is the start of National Workplace Wellness Week, and in Wisconsin the week has added significance. Three months from today, on the 5th of July, the state's new smoke-free air law takes effect. It will ban smoking in all workplaces.

Michelle Mercure, director of program services at the American Lung Association in Wisconsin, says the new law will mean big changes for a lot of workers and employers.

"With stronger laws, fewer people will be smoking and more will want to quit. Because they won't be able to smoke during the day or at the workplace, that will give them more motivation to want to quit."

Professional one-on-one smoking cessation counseling is available by calling The Lung Helpline, 1-800-LUNG-USA, which is staffed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. RNs and respiratory therapists are also available to answer questions on virtually any lung health topic.

Mercure says it's important for employers to know about the upcoming changes in the smoking law, and that they can get help from the American Lung Association in preparing for what's ahead this summer.

"They will want to make sure they're communicating with their employees and letting them know that there's a change in policy, and making sure that they're helping people who are still smoking to be able to quit."

Employers can call the lung helpline to get assistance in providing smoking cessation programs and materials, and learn more about the many ways they can assist their employees. Mercure urges workers and employers to use National Workplace Wellness Week to become proactive about helping smokers quit before the new law takes effect.

More information is available through the American Lung Association in Wisconsin at 262-703-4200; Lung Helpline, toll-free 800-586-4872; and online at www.lungwi.org>.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI