On Sunday, August 17, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Smoke Free Campus Act, which bans smoking in both indoor and outdoor spaces of state-supported college and university campuses. Smoking will still be allowed inside of cars. There are also smoking exceptions for certain activities allowed by the Federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act. In Chicago, many campuses have already adopted these rules prior to the newly signed Act. The campuses include Roosevelt University, Robert Morris University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Rush and Moody and 7 Chicago City College locations. The Smoke Free Campus Act will begin July 1, 2015. Congratulations, Illinois!
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It’s Smoking Cessation Awareness Week! This year, during August 18-22, Chicago is making it more visible and available the resources for Chicagoans the free smoking cessation resources should they want to quit smoking.
More Chicagoans than ever before are choosing a smoke-free life. You can too. For more resources, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 866-QUIT-YES (866-784-8937) and find tools online at www.mytimetoquit.com.
The Chicago Department of Public Health launched their newest campaign aimed at reducing teen smoking. The campaign called “Check the Stamps” offers a $100 reward for any resident who report illegal tobacco sales leading to a conviction against the person committing the illegal activity. Illegal activities include the sale of cigarettes without the appropriate County and State tax stamps, sales made outside of a licensed retailer (including ‘loosies’), or any sales to minors. Minors are especially vulnerable to these cheap, readily available and illegally sold cigarettes as it is easier to start and harder to quit.
Reports can be filed by calling 311 or on the website, www.checkthestamps.org.
Through a grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Asian Health Coalition partnered with the Respiratory Health Association to teach their Operation Storefront curriculum. Operation Storefront is a 5-week curriculum consisting of 4 lessons and a fieldwork lesson on tobacco advertising and product placement. The curriculum was taught at Haines Elementary School on Wednesday mornings from May 7-June 4. A group of 20 7th graders were taught about tobacco product and placement, created counter-tobacco ads, and analyzed two gas stations from Bridgeport on its tobacco advertising practices. At the end of the sessions, students were given the opportunity to do outreach activities. Some students chose to write a letter to the Mayor while others drew comics for the local newspapers.
The four counter-tobacco advertisements that the students created.
In celebration of World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May, we hosted our second annual Clean Up Chinatown event yesterday. Over 70 youth volunteers from Haines Elementary School, Project: VISION, and CASL cleaned the two-story Chinatown Square, the largest Chinese mall in the Midwest. The youth picked up 8 large jars worth of tobacco-related litter, particularly cigarette filters (“cigarette butts”).
The improperly disposed cigarette litter takes many years to decompose. During that time, the heavy metals and toxins leach into the environment hurting living organisms and the land and water supply. An estimated 1.68 billion pounds of cigarette butts end up as toxic trash every year. Let’s make every day World No Tobacco Day!
Come join us and sign up for the Clean Up Chinatown event at tinyurl.com/cleanupchinatown! Cigarette filters (“cigarette butts”) are the number one most littered item in the world. It takes decades for the litter to decompose. During that time, the toxins are released into the air, land, and water damaging our natural resources. The service event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28 at Chicago’s Chinatown Square 3-5 PM in honor of the annual World No Tobacco Day (May 31).