June 2011

Summer 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.

Luol Deng encourages kids to choose smoke-free

On Wednesday, June 15, Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls visited teens from the Chicago Housing Authority's West Haven Neighborhood at Victor Herbert Elementary School to talk about the importance of choosing a smoke-free lifestyle.

"There are two things I hate about being around people who smoke," Deng said. "I hate how it smells, and I hate that when people smoke, it impacts their health and means they aren't going to be able to give 100 percent at whatever they are doing in life."

As a spokesperson for the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project’s goals of decreasing Chicago’s youth and adult smoking rates and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, Deng starred in a special public service announcement encouraging Chicagoans to “quit now and get back in the game or better yet, don’t start!”

Deng coached as all of the kids rotated through several games and skill drills, facilitated by Near West Community Development Corporation. In addition, they spent time interacting with RHAMC staff who played trivia games to educate them about the deadly effects of tobacco. 

The Truth about Tobacco: Teens Speak Out

At a special reception on Tuesday, June 14, the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project announced the winners of the Share the Truth contest: Jennifer Sansone (age 15, De La Salle Institute) and Miguel Ruiz (age 18, Kelly High School).

Sansone’s radio commercial describes how her grandmother died due to tobacco-related illness and reminds listeners that “smoking is not a lifestyle; it’s a deadly habit, and you can quit." Ruiz’s commercial depicts various people smoking, then fading away as they inhale. His spot closes with, “Don’t let smoking take your life away.” Their commercials will begin playing on local Chicago radio and TV stations beginning in late June, but you can preview them on our website now!

The evening also recognized the teens featured in a 30-minute special, Teens Talk Tobacco, which aired on WGN in May. The teens spoke candidly about their experiences with tobacco, including fears about their loved ones who smoke, the unspoken pressure from peers to smoke and how government regulations can enact policy changes that will discourage smoking and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. 

Air quality action days

Last week, Chicagoland had the first orange air quality action day of the summer, which means that the air quality was deemed "unhealthy for sensitive groups," including children, older adults and people living with lung disease.

On hot, sunny days with little wind, unhealthy levels of ozone (smog) and fine particle pollution (soot) linger in the air and can cause breathing problems. On days with unhealthy air quality, it's important for sensitive groups to limit strenuous activity and stay in a temperature-controlled environment, such as an air conditioned room.

It is also important for everyone to limit their polluting activities on days with unhealthy air quality. We can all help limit pollution levels by carpooling, not mowing the lawn and using less electricity.

To be informed of days when poor air quality is predicted, sign up for EnviroFlash alerts. To learn more about air quality action days, visit our website. 

Get Involved: Schedule your flu clinic today!

The seasonal flu can impact anyone, but people with lung disease are particularly susceptible to complications from the flu. The only way to protect yourself, your family, friends and coworkers is to get vaccinated!

Each year, our dedicated registered nurses deliver more than 22,000 seasonal flu vaccinations throughout Chicago. We provide flexible scheduling and affordable services to ensure that people of all ages are protected against seasonal flu.

Schedule a clinic for your workplace, community center, social club or apartment complex today to reserve your preferred date and time!

For more information, contact Doreen Minnice, RN, BSN at dminnice@lungchicago.org or (312) 628-0201.  

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