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  • Issue Brief: ACA is Good for Lung Health
    Posted: 5/9/2017
    In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Since that time, more than one million Illinois residents gained insurance coverage through either the Health Insurance Marketplace or the Medicaid Expansion, and the uninsured rate in Illinois has fallen by 49 percent.
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  • RHA Statement - House Health Care Bill Concerning.
    Posted: 5/4/2017
    The May 4, 2017 actions by the House of Representatives will, if enacted, have serious consequences for the 25 million people in the US living with lung disease.
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  • Naperville City Council Recognized for Tobacco 21 Ordinance
    Posted: 2/8/2017
    Naperville, IL -- Respiratory Health Association recognized the Naperville City Council for their
    leadership in youth tobacco use prevention efforts at the council?s meeting on Tuesday, February 7,
    2017.

    On January 1, 2017, Naperville enacted an ordinance that raised the minimum legal purchase age of cigarettes to 21. Almost all smokers begin smoking during adolescence or young adulthood. Raising the minimum legal sales age is an important tobacco control measure that helps reduce the number of youth who start smoking.
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  • Time for Walgreens to Drop Bad Tobacco Habit
    Posted: 2/2/2017
    After decades of selling cigarettes and other tobacco-based products, the drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance should screw up some corporate courage and finally kick the habit.

    "Walgreens plays an integral role in the delivery system of health care, so it's deeply disappointing that it continues to sell tobacco products," says Joel Africk, president and CEO of the Respiratory Health Association in Chicago.
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  • Ian Piet and Senator Hastings Hustle for a Cure
    Posted: 1/13/2017
    TINLEY PARK, IL - A local sixth grader from Central Middle School, Ian Piet, and Senator Michael Hastings (D-Frankfort) are preparing to climb 1,632 stairs in the John Hancock Center during Respiratory Health Association?s 20th anniversary Hustle Up the Hancock on Sunday, February 26, 2017.

    The pair have been working together over the past year to fight lung cancer. Piet lost his father in 2015 to the disease, motivating him and his mother, Holli, to become Respiratory Health Association advocates and fundraisers for a cure. On behalf of the Piets, Hastings introduced a resolution in the Illinois Senate to declare November 2016 Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

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  • Make 2017 Your Healthiest Year Yet
    Posted: 12/22/2016
    RHA has lots of resources available to help with New Year's resolutions.
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  • 21st Century Cures Legislation Bolsters Needed Research
    Posted: 12/8/2016
    21st Century Cures Legislation Bolsters Needed Research: RHA Disappointed Prevention Dollars Raided to Fund Legislation

    Below is the statement of Joel Africk, president and Chief Executive Officer of Respiratory Health Association on the 21st Century Cures Legislation.

    On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Senate, with overwhelming bipartisan support passed the 21st Century Cures Act. This legislation provides billions in funding for research into cancer and other rare diseases, streamlines the drug and medical device approval process, provides more support for the nation?s mental health programs, and helps combat the opioid epidemic.
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  • RHA Remembers Dr. David W. Cugell
    Posted: 12/6/2016
    Dr. David W. Cugell, an esteemed director emeritus of Respiratory Health Association, died on December 5, 2016, at the age of 93. Dr. Cugell was a 50+ year volunteer with RHA, continuing his advocacy well after his board service here ended. Dr. Cugell had a special interest in climate change and lung health, and in recent years had been a key supporter of RHA efforts in this arena.
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  • Naperville Stores Must Raise Tobacco Sale Age to 21
    Posted: 12/6/2016
    Stores in Naperville no longer will be allowed to sell tobacco products to anyone younger than 21 beginning Jan. 1.

    The prohibition will extend to alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes as of Jan. 1, 2018, after the city council voted to increase the age restrictions in an effort to protect young people's health.

    The move reduces the likelihood cigarettes will make their way into high schools through teens' social networks, advocates said.
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  • Naperville Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21
    Posted: 12/6/2016
    The Naperville City Council approved raising the minimum purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 in a 6-3 vote Monday.

    The new ordinance will go into effect Jan. 1 for the purchase of cigarettes. The age for buying alternative tobacco products, including hookah and vaping substances, goes to 21 the following Jan. 1.
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  • Adult Smoking at All Time Low
    Posted: 12/6/2016
    For the first time since record keeping began 50 years ago, the number of Americans who smoke cigarettes has dropped below 40 million.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 2005 and 2015, the percentage of cigarette smokers declined to 15 percent from 21 percent. There were significant reductions in smoking across all ages, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic levels and regions of the country.

    In 2005, there were 45.1 million smokers in the country. By 2015 there were 36.5 million.

    Sixteen percent of men and 14 percent of women smoked in 2015, down from 24 percent and 17 percent in 2005.

    Smoking declined most sharply in the youngest age groups. But 13 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, 18 percent of 25- to 44-year-olds, 17 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds, and 9 percent of those over 65 were still smoking.

    There was almost no difference between the percentages of non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks who smoked ? around 16.5 percent ? and 10 percent of Hispanics smoked cigarettes.
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  • Tobacco Ban Among Changes in Baseball Labor Deal
    Posted: 12/6/2016

    Baseball players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract Wednesday night, a deal that will extend the sport's industrial peace to 26 years since the ruinous fights in the first two decades of free agency.

    After days of near round-the-clock talks, negotiators reached a verbal agreement about 3 1/2 hours before the expiration of the current pact. Then they worked to draft a memorandum of understanding, which must be ratified by both sides.

    Smokeless tobacco will be banned for all players who currently do not have at least one day of major league service.
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  • Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Applauds Passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill
    Posted: 12/1/2016
    CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With passage Thursday of the Future Energy Jobs Bill, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition issued the following statement:

    "The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition made creating thousands of jobs in every part of Illinois, saving consumers money on their bills and combating the threat of climate change our core operating principles. Today, we are gratified that these goals are now within reach thanks to the Illinois General Assembly passing the Future Energy Jobs Bill.
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  • RHA Advocate to City Council: Keep Tobacco and Menthol Restrictions
    Posted: 11/4/2016
    Dear Esteemed City Council Members:

    I am writing to ask you NOT to vote for repealing provisions in the law that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco including menthol near schools. As a result of your leadership, the City of Chicago is a national leader in tobacco control policies that help to save lives by reducing smoking among youth and young adults. However, we must remain firm on keep public health policies that are effective.

    Why is it important to keep menthol restrictions in place for those stores near schools? Published research shows that the tobacco industry targets Black youth by increasing the amount of advertisements for menthol cigarettes in stores within walking distance of schools with high percentages of black students. Advertisement rates are 50% higher in these areas. The prices for mentholated New Port cigarettes are also 12 cents lower in these same stores. Young smokers are influenced by targeted advertisements and by price. High levels of advertisements influence the perceptions, attitudes and eventual behaviors of youth. Although the legal smoking age has been increased to 21 years, the predatory practices of the tobacco industry require that current restrictions remain in place to protect the health of our youngest residents.
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  • Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition to Officials: Maintain Menthol Restrictions
    Posted: 11/4/2016

    Office of the Mayor
    121 N LaSalle Street
    Chicago City Hall 4th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602


    Mayor Emanuel and Members of Chicago City Council,

    The Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition (CHHC) strongly opposes any efforts to weaken the ordinance that restricts the sale of flavored and menthol cigarettes.

    Over 45% of Hispanic adult smokers use menthol products so we need to remain vigilant in protecting the community from these deadly products. Supporting tobacco control policies is consistent with our mission to promote healthy behavior and prevent chronic disease and health disparities in the Hispanic communities of metropolitan Chicago.


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