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  • Ian Piet and Senator Hastings Fight Against Lung Cancer
    Posted: 12/28/2016
    SPRINGFIELD - Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) proudly introduced a resolution in the Illinois Senate to declare November 2016 Lung Cancer Awareness Month on the behalf of Ian Piet, a fifth-grader from Tinley Park in the 19th District.

    Piet lost his father in 2015 to a fight with lung cancer, motivating him to become an advocate and fundraiser for a cure.
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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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  • Naperville Commissioners hear pros, cons of upping tobacco buying age to 21
    Posted: 9/13/2016
    Naperville liquor commissioners Thursday delayed making a recommendation on raising the age to purchase tobacco within city limits to 21.

    Instead, commissioners want to know how a similar law that went into effect July 1 in Chicago has played out so far and what their options might be in adopting such a law. The issue will be discussed again at the city's liquor commission Sept. 8 meeting.
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  • Ruling On Vioations is Latest Blow for Troubled Illinois Coal Plant
    Posted: 8/29/2016
    Environmental and health advocates are cheering a federal judge?s ruling August 23 that a coal plant near Peoria, Illinois violated limits on particulate matter emissions.

    The E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant has been owned by a subsidiary of Dynegy since 2014, when it was transferred as part of a notorious deal wherein Ameren Corp. essentially paid Dynegy $200 million to take five coal plants and related debt off its hands.

    The measures Dynegy subsidiary Illinois Power Resources Generating needs to take will be determined in the remedy phase of the trial, which is not yet scheduled. The company could be ordered to install a baghouse or other pollution control equipment, a potentially expensive requirement.

    "This verified our contention all along that there were clear violations of air pollution permit requirements," said Brian Urbazsewski, director of environmental health programs for the Respiratory Health Association, one of the groups representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
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  • Judge: It's Time for Peoria Coal Plan to Clean It Up
    Posted: 8/24/2016
    A federal judge sided with a coalition of environmental and health groups that filed a lawsuit against Peoria's E.D. Edwards coal plant alleging that the company is "emitting an excessive amount of soot pollution."

    "Old plants like Edwards need to install modern pollution control equipment, but Dynegy has failed to do so, while taking a 'duct tape and bubble gum' approach to maintenance," said Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attorney Ann Alexander. "The company may have saved itself money, but Peoria citizens paid the price in dirty air. We're glad the court recognized that this has gone on long enough."
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  • Clearing the Air: RHA Joins KSU to Monitor Chicago Air Pollution
    Posted: 8/16/2016
    Chicago communities with poor air quality can soon be more involved in air pollution monitoring with help from Kansas State University.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded three Kansas State University researchers and seven Chicago organizations a $750,000 grant to investigate if giving communities access to low-cost portable air pollution monitoring devices could help improve air quality, which is directly related to human health concerns.

    The project, "Shared Air/Shared Action: Community Empowerment through Low-cost Air Pollution Monitoring," will involve Chicago's environmental justice communities - areas that share a disproportionate amount of the risk in contamination and pollution from industrialization and modern society. The researchers will do a pilot study in winter 2016 and will launch the full study in spring 2017.
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