January 1, 2013 marked the five year anniversary of The Smoke Free Illinois Act, one of our state's most significant public health victories of the last decade.
We're proud of how far we've come. Since the law went into effect in 2008, smoking rates in Illinois and across the country have declined. Fewer Illinoisans are exposed to secondhand smoke at work, at home and in public. Fewer young people are picking up cigarettes in the first place. And the millions of people who work in restaurants don't have to choose between their health and their job.
We hope you'll celebrate this important milestone with us by thanking the restaurants you love. Print out our Happy Anniversary reminder, and tuck a copy into the check holder the next few times you go out to eat.
Of course, there's more work to be done. Use of non-cigarette tobacco products is on the rise. More than 1.3 million Illinois residents are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. And the 70 percent of smokers who say they want to quit need help to break the habit.So what's next? At Respiratory Health Association, we've remained committed to addressing each of these concerns. We're working hard to further reduce the smoking rate and protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke by:
- working with property managers to adopt smoke-free policies in public and private multi-unit housing facilities.
- supporting price increases for tobacco products, including the recent $1-per-pack increases in the state tobacco tax (June 2012) and Cook County cigarette tax (March 2013).
- implementing smoke-free and tobacco-free campus policies at schools, hospitals and other workplaces.
- expanding support for people who want to quit through our Courage to Quit smoking cessation program, Healthy Lungs Initiative, and other free resources.
For more information, contact Julie O'Brien: