April 2011

Advocacy updates

Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago's e-newsletter is published monthly and contains news of our happenings, program updates and links to lung health resources.

This month's issue includes:

To receive our monthly e-newsletter, send an email to info@lungchicago.org.

Respiratory Health Association honored by American College of Physicians

Joel Africk with Loveland AwardRespiratory Health Association is the 2011 recipient of the American College of Physicians' prestigious Edward R. Loveland Memorial Award.

The award is given yearly to one individual or organization for a distinguished contribution in the health field. Respiratory Health Association was recognized for our commitment to community lung health over the past 106 years, and specifically our recent efforts to pass laws to protect all employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke in their workplaces throughout Chicago and across Illinois. The award also commended our Fight Asthma Now® Program that has been used to teach more than 2,500 Chicago Public School students to manage their asthma, and our efforts to raise awareness for COPD prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

With this honor, Respiratory Health Association joins the ranks of past recipients including the Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Protecting smoke-free Illinois

There are currently three pieces of legislation in the Illinois House and Senate that would weaken Illinois' smoke-free law.

On March 29, the Illinois House passed HB1965, which would exempt casinos from the smoke-free law entirely. The legislation is currently waiting to be voted on in the Illinois Senate, and we cannot allow this to pass! Take action in our online action center to ask your senator to vote no on this bill!

Other pending exemptions include House Bill 1310 and House Bill 117. HB1310 would allow for the sale of smoking licenses to bars, gaming facilities and private clubs. HB171 would create ventilated smoking rooms (with no limit on size) in gaming establishments in Illinois. Science has demonstrated that there is no ventilation system that effectively removes the carcinogens and toxins in secondhand smoke. Moreover, any amount of exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous and puts workers' health at risk.

The smoke-free law is good for everyone, and 81 percent of Illinois voters indicate support. The smoke-free law protects people from the hazards of secondhand smoke, ensures people do not have to choose between their health and their paycheck, and provides a level playing field for all Illinois businesses.

See what's being said in the news:
Public Opinion Points to Keep Smoking Ban - NBC 5
Illinois Smoking Ban Under Attack - Chicago Tribune
Our View: Legislature should give smoking ban a fairer, longer shake - Peoria Journal Star


Chicago City Council poised to vote for clean diesel

Bulldozer imageLast week, the City Council's Energy, Environmental, and Public Utilities Committee unanimously passed an ordinance to require cleaner diesel fuel and cleaner equipment to be used on city-funded construction projects. Now, all 50 aldermen in the full City Council will vote on the measure tomorrow.

Cleaner equipment will help all Chicagoans breathe easier, and it will have strong positive impacts on people who work in close proximity to diesel engines, as well as people who are especially susceptible to the hazards of diesel exhaust, including children, the elderly, and people living with lung and heart disease. Other major cities, including New York City and San Francisco, have similar policies and are already seeing results in healthier workers and environments.

Help Chicago join other major cities in passing this essential legislation! If you're a Chicago resident, visit our online action center to send an email to your alderman to ask for support of clean diesel!

Get Involved: Register now for Skyline Plunge!

Plunge imageRegistration is now open for the third annual Skyline Plunge! Chicago. Be a part of this unique event as you rappel 27 stories down the signature lightning bolt of theWit Hotel at State and Lake Streets. Sign up with a friend by April 30 and you'll each get half off of your registration fee.

Visit the Skyline Plunge! Chicago website to register today!

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