A Wisconsin anti-smoking group is broadening its efforts, to include working to combat alcohol abuse. Smoke Free Wisconsin, the organization which successfully advocated for the state’s indoor smoking ban, will now spearhead the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse. “Smoke Free Wisconsin has been looking at expanding, and there’s been a lot of folks asking us to help them out with a number of different initiatives, both at the state and local level,” said Smoke Free Wisconsin Executive Director Maureen Busalacchi. “We’re really excited to be able to work with the folks in Dane County on this issue.” Smoke Free Wisconsin will soon have a new name to reflect it’s expanded mission.
The Dane County coalition was created in 2008, with the goal of raising the awareness of the harm alcohol abuse does to families, schools and communities. The group’s co-directors retired from their leadership roles at the end of 2010. “I think it’s critical that we do this, and keep in mind how our children view the environment we live,” said Busalacchi. “For us to just stand by and say ‘you know what, oh gee that’s too bad there’s another drunk driver out there . . .’ no, it’s not okay.”