Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project

Since March 2010, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago has overseen the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project, in collaboration with Chicago Department of Public Health. This project aims to implement citywide policy strategies designed to decrease tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, with concentrated efforts aimed at high-burden population groups.

The two-year, $11.5 million project is using evidence-based intervention strategies to achieve citywide implementation and to target specific groups at high risk for tobacco use. The project includes a media campaign, policy initiatives and smoking cessation programming to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.


Community populations targeted to receive additional resources around cessation and policy activities include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, low income blacks, women who are pregnant, military veterans, people with mental health or substance abuse issues, youth, and food service workers.

Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project will create sustainable environmental and systems changes with the positive, long-term health effects of:
  • decreasing smoking prevalence (10% reduction among adults, 25% among youth);
  • preventing tobacco-related deaths
  • decreasing exposure to secondhand smoke (40% reduction among adults; 30% among youth)
Smoking and Tobacco Use. Flash Player 9 is required.
Smoking and Tobacco Use.
Flash Player 9 is required.
Successes of the project so far include:
  • An increase in calls to the Illinois Tobacco Quitline by 132 percent from October to December 2010 compared with the previous year
  • Piloting of smoke-free housing policies in four Chicago Housing Authority complexes
  • Adoption of a tobacco-free campus policy by Weiss Hospital and commitments from four other hospitals to adopt a policy by March 2012 
  • Adoption of a tobacco-free campus policy by all schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, impacting 40,000 students in Chicago alone
  • Commitments from six mental health or substance abuse facilities in Chicago to adopt a smoke-free campus policy by March 2012
  • Awarding of more than $2 million to more than 30 community partners
  • Reach of more than 1,000 youth from 22 wards through Operation Storefront
  • Reach of millions Chicagoans through public service announcements, transit, print and web ads

Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project is one of 44 such projects under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

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For more information, view our Video and Media Materials pages, or contact Eileen Lowery:
Email Eileen
(312) 628-0217