CASAP News Round-up 20 January

20 January 2017| By: Kevin Trieu

Happy Inauguration day! I wanted to give you guys snippets of 3 local Chicago stories today. They don’t have anything to do with substance use, but they do have to do with the neighborhood that we work with.

Chinatown in running for a High School

Chinatown, Roseland, and Englewood are all competing for CPS to open a new high school in their neighborhood. CPS has indicated that they wanted to build a new high school on the Southside, with a $75 Million budget. The location has not been revealed which is why the locations are competing for it as organizers are moving quickly to lobby CPS to come and build in their neighborhood.

A Chinatown high school has been in the talks for a very long time, and many Chinatown community members have expressed interest in having one here, as the closest community high school that we have would be Kelly High School in Brighton Park. Several organizations, such as the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) have already started organizing around it. If you are interested in helping out, please contact CBCAC for more information.

Healy Elementary offers Free English Classes

Healy Elementary will offer free English language classes starting on January 23rd and will run until May 4th. the classes run from 8-10 AM Monday-Thursday. Registration will be open today, Friday 20 January. Applicants must take a placement exam and must bring identification and a piece of mail to verify address.

Located in Bridgeport, Healy is a very ideal situation for a program like this, with its immigrant Latino and Chinese Population. I am excited to see turnout for a program like this.

“Who’s your Chinaman?” Offensive Term with a Peculiar Origin

So, I wanted to include this last story because we are located in Chicago’s Chinatown and because the title caught my attention. Back in the day of old-school Chicago politics, where it was a lot more about who you know, than what you know, Political insiders would ask “Who’s your Chinaman?” to ask who was the person you knew that got you this job, as a form of local slang. While the term is offensive most definitely, its theoretical origins are not, apparently. There are 3 theories as to why this term was used. 1. The term was a metaphor for the neighborhood of Bridgeport which was the place with a lot of political muscle back in the day. Because Bridgeport was near Chinatown, it served as a way to be discreet about who was your benefactor. 2. In the Chicago Police world the term was in reference to the 1962 Film The Manchurian Candidate, where Chinese Leaders brainwashed captured american soldiers and were able to mind-control them with a snap of a finger. 3. Influential First Ward Alderman, Michael “Hinky-Dink” Kenna used to set up meeting with people in buildings where the Original Chinatown used to be.

If you want to find out more of the origins of this slang, click here.

What do you think of any of the stories? Comment down below!





Smoking is Costing the World a Lot

13 January 2017| By Kevin Trieu


Smoking is costing the world a lot of money says a report from the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute. Estimates of the cost are at $1 Trillion Dollars and killing about 6 Million annually. The study warns of Tobacco as being not only a public health issue but of a very severe economic one. A lot of money is spent on tobacco by consumers but could be used for healthier, necessary things such as food or a home.

Many tobacco users globally are coming from much poorer background, so the effects of tobacco affect them much more both medically and economically.

In the US, smoking is at an all-time low, but the US is one of a dozen, or so countries that have yet to adopt the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, which passed the assembly in 2003. The US has been noted to also be behind in things such as adopting more graphic warning labels on their boxes.

While not surprising that smoking causes a lot of economic loss, it is surprising that it costs the world $1 Trillion. It is also very disheartening that smoking disproportionately affects poorer populations more, and it seems to be hard to do anything about it. I have family in Vietnam, and 2 summers ago, I visited Vietnam.  It’s a beautiful country but there was so many people smoking there. Growing up in America, it just seems so unusual to see that many people smoking.

What are your thoughts on the story? Comment down below.

Link to the full story here.

Link to full WHO report here.


Quitting Smoking is Hard

6 January, 2017| by: Kevin Trieu

Hello there! First off, my apologies for not posting last week. We had the week off, and totally should have planned ahead, but I forgot. Anyways, Happy New Years everyone. I am hoping everyone has a well rested break off and are ready to get back at it, but anyways, onto the main story.

As you all may know, New Years is a time where a lot of people reflect and try to improve themselves for the new year. One of the biggest one’s being losing weight and going to the gym more. Another new years resolution that a lot of people generally have is quitting smoking. Quitting smoking, however, is the hardest resolution to keep, according to a new study by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK. The study surveyed 2,000 people about their new years resolutions and found that about 8% of those surveyed, planned on quitting smoking. Of those 8%, only 13% ended up smoke-free by the end of year.

While a very small sample size of smokers, all things considered, it is not surprising that quitting smoking is one of the hardest resolutions to keep. Many people set unattainable goals upon themselves, or just quit after falling back once. It’s important to make sure that you set yourself up for success, by setting reasonable benchmarks for yourself, and making sure that you pick yourself back up again, no matter the setback.

CASAP has plenty of resources to help people quit smoking. For instance, the Asian Smokers Quitline, a free nationwide hotline, based in California, to help people quit smoking that has Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean languages available. There is also the Illinois Tobacco Quitline, if people want more local help.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Comment down below. Mine was to watch more movies!

Link to the story, here.

Happy Holidays from CASAP

23 December 2016| By: Kevin Trieu


Hello Everyone! No real news today, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday break. If you are interested there are some Chinese Restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day in Chinatown, so stop by if you don’t have any plans or if you just want some Chinese food. I know I will be looking for some this weekend! As of writing this, the list is as follows:

This list is constantly being updated. For the most up to date list and to see some other restaurants that will be open in Chicago on Christmas day, click here.

What are your plans over the Holiday Break? I would love to hear about them. Comment Below. My folks plan on seeing Rogue One Christmas Eve and having a nice family dinner Christmas Day with some Christmas Day Basketball thrown in the mix! Enjoy!


CASAP News Round-up 16 December

16 December, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

Hey there folks! There was a lot of news that came out this week, and so rather than doing 3 separate stories spanning three weeks, I decided to combine them into all one story. Let me know what you think!

Finance Committee Moves to Loosen Ban on Tobacco Sales Near Schools

On Monday, the City’s Finance Committee moved to loosen the ban on tobacco sales near schools. Previously the city had an ordinance on the books that banned the sales of menthol and flavored cigarettes within 500 feet of all schools in Chicago. The lift on the ban is for stores within 500 feet of an elementary or middle school, but not for any store near a high school. The revised ordinance has also been approved by the Full City Council; however, no story has been published on the move yet.

Asian American Cop to Lead the City’s 9th Police District

The City of Chicago’s Police Department has been in the midst of some serious shakeups in the aftermath of increased scrutiny of the Department. One change led to the replacement of Daniel Godsel, of the 9th Police District, with Stephen Chung, a 20 year vet of the Police Force. Godsel will be in a new role as the Commander of Police Training and Education. The appointment Stephen Chung as the new 9th District Commander is seen largely as a reflection of the changing demographics of the 9th Police District. The 9th Police District includes Chinatown, Armour Square, and Bridgeport which has seen a growing and expanding Asian American population. The appointment has also been applauded by the many Asian Americans in the community. “Having an Asian-American commander in a district so heavily populated by Asian-Americans will provide vital cultural understanding in addition to excellent law enforcement,” said Esther Wong Executive Director of the Chinese American Service League.

A Lesson in Advocacy from Toilets

While not important to CASAP’s work at all, we wanted to let you know a story about some  community organizing work done a long time ago. In the 60s and 70s, it used to cost a dime to get into a public bathroom stall, across the country. A group of Chicago residents felt it unfair that someone would need to pay to use a public restroom, and that it disproportionately affected women more than men as urinals were free to use. The group was part of a larger, national movement called the Committee to End Paid Toilets in America (CEPTIA). The local Chicago group met regularly, sent letters to editors, reached out to local politicians, and found themselves a champion for the cause in 40th Ward Alderman Seymour Simon.

What are your thoughts on the loosening ban on Flavored Tobacco products around schools? Thoughts on the new Police Commander for the 9th District? What can you learn from the story about paid toilets? Comment Down Below. Also, if you like this “news wrap-up” format, please let me know. Thanks!



Study: Quit Smoking Now, No Matter Your Age.

9 December, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu


A new study revealed that no matter your age, a person can see benefits from quitting smoking. “…participants who quit smoking as recently as in their 60s were 23 percent less likely to die during follow-up than those that continued to smoke into their 70s.” said researcher Sarah Nash, lead researcher from the US National Cancer Institute (quote from article). Nash conducted a six year study looking at the affects of smoking on death. Smokers in their 70s were three times more likely to die within the six year study than those who did not smoke. The study also highlighted that smoking earlier in life, has an affect on someone’s health later in life, which essentially reinforces CASAP’s mission.

This study is nothing new in the Prevention world, but rather is further example of the benefits of quitting smoking. We have known for a long time that when someone stops smoking, they see benefits of that, starting right away. This is also further proof about why CASAP’s work is so important. Death from smoking and drug use are one of the most preventable causes of deaths out there. I think we have an opportunity to really make an impact on this matter, and end drug related deaths in the very near future.

What do you think if this new study? Comment Down Below.

Link to the story can be found here.

CASAP is actually hosting a Informational session of a Tobacco Cessation program, on Monday 12 December at the Chinatown Library from 3-4 PM in their community room. If you are interested in quitting or would like to help someone quit smoking please come to the session.

Philip Morris Tries to Put Cigarettes Behind Them

2 December, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

Phillip Morris, one the world’s largest Tobacco retailers, states that there is a possibility that they could get out of producing cigarettes completely, and move on to alternative tobacco products. Faced with stricter regulations, a growing concern with the health implication of cigarette use by outside entities, and lower profits from tobacco sales, the tobacco industry is looking for new ways to generate a profit. “We certainly see a future where Phillip Morris no longer will be selling cigarettes in the market,” said Mark Inkster managing director of Philip Morris UK and Ireland, who told Reuters.

At the center of Philip Morris’ strategy are devices called “IQOS,” which seems to have no origin to its name, but act very similarly to how an e-cigarette works, by electronically heating tobacco to form a vapor. They are also looking into carbon-tipped vaporizers which look very similar to traditional cigarettes and can be thrown away after use. Other tobacco companies have looked towards alternatives such as “glo” tobacco devices and inhalers. The whole point being to attract different segments of the population with a diverse selection of products.

However, the International Health Community, CASAP included, would like to remind everyone to remain cautious and hesitant to these products. While they may look attractive, they are still tobacco products at the end of the day, and more research still needs to be done on these new products in order to truly vet their benefits.

What do you think of all these new tobacco products in development? Comment down below.

For another story on Philip Morris I did a while ago, please click here.

For a story on the International Tobacco scene, please click here.

Link to original article can be found here.