Nov 17, 2020
Jeanne Weigum and David Willoughby
Where Do We Stand on Tobacco Prevention?

Jeanne Weigum has served as the President of ANSR since 1980, though her path to leading the organization for nearly four decades has somewhat humble roots. The Association for Nonsmokers’ Rights, as it was called at the time, was in the midst of fighting for the nation’s first statewide clean indoor air law in 1975. Jeanne saw an ad in a local paper about the association’s work and decided to become a member, which only cost $1. After becoming a member, Jeanne soon joined the ANSR board and eventually moved her way up to the full-time President, a role for which she has never taken a salary. From ground-breaking smoke-free housing work to innovative approaches to preventing youth tobacco use, she has provided strategic direction for numerous public policy wins in Minnesota. She remains deeply committed to enhancing public health and her community. When not fighting the good fight at ANSR, you’ll find Jeanne baking in the winter, gardening in the spring and summer, and up to her ankles in rescue dogs year round.

David J. Willoughby is the chief executive officer of ClearWay Minnesota, which works to enhance life for all Minnesotans by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through research, action, and collaboration. Willoughby also leads the Funder’s Alliance, a group of state foundation executive directors from across the country who work on tobacco control.

In 1975, ANSR helped pass the nation’s first comprehensive state clean indoor air legislation. Since then, ANSR has continued to play a leading role in shaping tobacco policy and has been involved in every major state-wide policy, such as the Freedom to Breathe Act in 2007 and raising the tobacco tax in 2013. ANSR helped Minneapolis and Saint Paul restrict the sales of flavored tobacco, including menthol, and also helped Edina become the first Minneapolis city to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.

The mission of ClearWay Minnesota is to enhance life in Minnesota by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through research, action, and collaboration. They were created in 1998 and entrusted with overseeing 3 percent of the state’s tobacco settlement funds. ClearWay operates under the ongoing jurisdiction of the Ramsey County District Court. They use their portion of the settlement to help Minnesotans quit smoking and tobacco use, and to fund tobacco-related research, programs, and initiatives around the state. ClearWay Minnesota works to raise people’s awareness of the dangers of tobacco and to make Minnesota a healthier place.