198275 Community Water Fluoridation: Winning and Losing in Western Wisconsin

Monday, November 9, 2009

Robert A. Jecklin, MPH, PhD , Department of Health Education and Promotion, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
Two communities in Western Wisconsin voted on community water fluoridation during the 2008 Presidential election. This paper describes each community, the support for fluoride in each community, the opposition to fluoride in each community, and the results of each referendum. One community voted in favor of community water fluoridation, and one community opposed community water fluoridation. Despite very different results, the winning and losing margins were very similar. Analysis is based on existing quantitative and qualitative data about each community, supportive activities catalogued by a paid staff person, opposition activities in print and electronic media, and the election results. Interpretation of the analysis will propose alternative explanations for success and failure of two binding referendums for community water fluoridation.

Learning Objectives:
1. identify two small towns in Western Wisconsin with community water fluoridation referendums coinciding with the Presidential election in 2008. 2. compare the characteristics of the two communities. 3. compare actions to support and oppose fluoridation in the two communities. 4. describe alternative explanations for fluoride winning in one community and losing in the other.

Keywords: Community Assets, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in community dental health in this area for over a decade, and I directly participated in a group supporting one of the referendums.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.