January e-newsletter

Respiratory Health Association'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:

Paving the way for a healthy future

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

Celebrating smoking victories past and present

No smoking

This month we have several tobacco victories to celebrate - both past and present. January 11 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, a public health milestone that launched many anti-smoking efforts and saved an estimated 8 million lives. Since 1964, smoking rates among American adults have decreased by half and there have been substantial increases in average U.S. life expectancy. Click here to read former Board member Dr. David Cugell's interview about the "most significant health report ever."

To continue the fight against tobacco, Respiratory Health Association supports many current anti-tobacco legislation and policies. We supported two laws that went into effect on January 1 that will help decrease the number of smokers and curb youth smoking rates. This month, Chicago's tobacco tax increased to $1.18 per pack. Combined with other state and local taxes, the new tax rate is the highest in the nation and is expected to save thousands of lives by lowering smoking rates, especially among youth. A pack of cigarettes now costs an average $11. A law also went into effect that bans the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. This is a necessary step to ensure young people aren't tempted to try conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products.

Learn more about our tobacco efforts and the harms of tobacco.

January is Radon Awareness Month

 Radon test kits are
inexpensive and simple

January is Radon Awareness Month and it's a great reminder to protect yourself and loved ones from this gas - the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, invisible gas that is released from the soil and can enter homes through cracks in the building's foundation. The only way to know if it is in your home is to test.

Learn more about radon and new testing guidelines Illinois daycares.

Trial seeks to improve childhood asthma outcomes


We are proud to announce that Respiratory Health Association is part of a collaborative led by University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System that was recently awarded a $4 million, three-year contract from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The "Coordinated Health Interventions for Childhood Asthma Gaps in Outcomes (CHICAGO) Trial" seeks to improve health outcomes for minority children with uncontrolled asthma, and provide patients with information that will help them make better-informed decisions about their care. The project will compare the effectiveness of interventions in the emergency department and at home and will focus on outcomes meaningful to children, such as being able to participate in sports.

Read more about our current research.

Protecting communities from petroleum coke

Pet coke 
Senator Durbin
speaks about
pet coke.

Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental programs, recently joined Senator Dick Durbin in southeast Chicago to help raise awareness of petroleum coke (pet coke). Pet coke is a black dust that's a byproduct of oil refinery waste and is often stored in uncovered piles, some several stories high. In some areas, pet coke has been blowing onto people's homes, threatening their lung health. In response to this issue, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced a legal settlement with the owners of one storage facility that will result in the removal of a large pet coke pile. The Mayor also proposed new city regulations to help protect communities from the threat of pet coke dust storage piles.

Click here to learn more about the settlement and thank Lisa Madigan.

Get Involved: Courage to Quit

Quit smoking

If you would like to help people achieve their goal to quit smoking, attend our Courage to Quit Group Leader Training on Friday, January 24. Courage to Quit® is an adult smoking cessation program that is led by health educators, community health workers, social workers and other health professionals who have completed the training workshop. The workshop offers continuing education hours for respiratory care practitioners, contact hours for nurses and continuing education hours for IAODAPCA behavioral health professionals.

Get more information and download a registration form here.