Report: Illinois Failing to Control Tobacco



17 March 2017| By: Kevin Trieu

The American Lung Association released a report called the “State of Tobacco Control.” The report looks on a State-by-State basis on how well each State is fairing on tobacco control. The report has 5 key criteria: tobacco prevention and cessation funding, smokefree air, tobacco taxes, access to cessation services, and Tobacco 21. In 4 of the 5 criteria, Illinois Received an “F” grade. Only in smokefree air did we receive an “A” grade.

The report blames the Illinois State government for the grade, due to the state budget crisis and failing to pass Tobacco 21 legislation. “We know what works, when it comes to preventing and reducing tobacco use…” said  Kathy Drea, Vice President, Advocacy, for the American Lung Association in Illinois.

The report is not surprising in any way. While the City of Chicago has really been on the front-lines of tobacco control and regulation, the rest of the State lags behind. The city of Chicago has the highest combined state and local cigarette tax in the country whereas the State has a tax rate of $1.98 for a 20 Pack. A lot more can be done on this front, and yes, it is easy to live in a bubble and pretend the rest of the state does not exist, but what we should be really doing is taking our successes in Chicago, and sharing/.telling our stories to people in other cities.

What did you think of this report? Comment below.

Link to the IL State Report here.

Link to a Press release on the IL State Report here.

Link to the 50 State “State of Tobacco Control” report here.

Announcing: CASAP Community Meeting and RBS Dates

10 March 2017 | By:Kevin Trieu

CASAP would like to announce a few things for this week’s post.

  1. We will be having a Community Meeting on Wednesday, 15 March from 3:30-5 PM at the Chinatown Library. The new time is meant to encourage teachers, students, parents, police officers, and other community members who usually cannot make it to our 12 PM -2  PM meetings to come out to this meeting. We will be discussing our recent data from the Illinois Youth Survey, which is a survey of local 8th, 10th and 12th graders about drug use and student overall health, and providing an update on our programs that we have. I would like to cordially invite all of our readers to come out to this meeting. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Thanks! Please contact me at, if you have any questions.
  2. CASAP would like to also announce the dates and times for our Responsible Beverage Servers Training. The only free, non-English/Spanish RBS training in Illinois is back for its 6th year. We will be having Mandarin Training on Tuesday and Wednesday 4-5 April from 9 AM -1 PM and Cantonese Training on Tuesday and Wednesday 4-5 April from 2-6 PM, both at the Chinese American Service League, 2141 S Tan Ct. Registration ends on Monday 3 April at 5 PM, and registrants must attend both days in order to receive credit. Please contact Miny Wu at to register or if you have any questions.



American Academy of Pediatrics Warn Against Marijuana Use

3 March 2017 | By: Kevin Trieu


The American Academy of Pediatrics is sounding the alarm on teen marijuana use. Due to an increase in laws decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana use, Pediatricians have seen an increase in parents asking if marijuana use is ok for their kids.

In the new report, the group opposes all marijuana use by kids. As we at CASAP have talked about before, a teens’ brain is still developing as they age, and continues to develop until their 20’s. There have been a few studies suggesting that marijuana use by teens can alter the brain’s functions such as altering memory, planning, and even lowering IQ. It is also important to note that today’s marijuana is much more potent than what it was a generation ago.

CASAP strongly applauds this stance taken by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There is an ever-growing body of research stating that teen’s brain especially susceptible to addiction and continuously hammering away at this is so important. Pediatricians are often on the front-lines of making sure that their kids are healthy, and being strong advocates for teen prevention is the best way for teens to stay healthy.

What do you think about this report? Comment down below!

News article can be found here.

AAP report can be found here.


Heavy Drinking May Lead to Aged Arteries, Says Study

24 February 2016 | By: Kevin Trieu


A UK study suggests that years of heavy drinking may lead to an accelerated risk of stiffness in the arteries and cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, “The findings support previous research on moderate alcohol consumption’s association with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.” In the study, men tended to be heavier drinkers than women.

Researchers measured stiffness, by looking at arterial velocity using pulse waves. The greater the velocity of the wave, the more stiff your arteries are. Two pressure catheters are placed a known distance apart, and the wave is then timed. The researchers then compared the results of the Pressure Wave Velocity with the amount, a patient drinks.

it is important to note, however, that scientists are still unsure as to why alcohol affects arterial health, and more research needs to be done on that. The leading theory is that with heavy drinking comes the release of enzymes that lead to collagen accumulation.

This is just more evidence about why alcohol use is an important topic to study. Alcohol use, has an impact in all of our lives, whether or not we are addicted.The study also emphasizes the fact that drinking alcohol not only affects your liver, but can also affect your heart and other parts. If you or a loved on is experiencing alcohol addiction, please seek help immediately.

What do you think about the findings? Comment down below.

Links I used for the story can be found below:

News Story 

AHA Article

Pulse Wave Velocity Definition



CASAP Community Meeting set for 15 March at Chinatown Library (3:30- 5 PM)

17 February 2017 | By Kevin Trieu


We would like to invite all to you to attend our Community Meeting from 3:30- 5 PM on Wednesday 15 March at the Chinatown Library. CASAP’s spring meeting brings our whole coalition together—youth, teachers and school administrators, parents and families, and business leaders. We’ve invited the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, and youth advocates involved in our Photovoice, Engaging Youth for Positive Change, and Reward & Reminder programs to provide updates. You’ll also learn more about the Illinois Youth Survey’s findings on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.

If you haven’t been able to make it to our regular lunchtime meetings, this is the meeting for you!  Hope to see you there.

Any questions, please contact me at

Dripping: A New Trend Some Kids are Trying

10 February, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu


A new study suggests that as many as a quarter of of Youth smoking e-cigarettes might be trying a potentially dangerous trend called “dripping” which gives users more vapor to inhale and a bigger hit of nicotine. Dripping works when the user places droplets of liquid directly onto the heating coil.  The method also allows users to switch flavors from one to another more efficiently. The concern here is that, the practice of dripping increases the temperature of the device which then might lead to an increase release of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and acrolein. The researchers, however, stress that more research needs to be done.

While, it is widely agreed upon that e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative than traditional cigarettes. More and more times, we are seeing youth, who have never smoked before, try e-cigarettes thinking it’s safer and it will not lead them to addiction. More and more research is coming out however, that youth who use e-cigarettes, still end up developing a nicotine dependence, and this is using e-cigarettes traditionally!

More research needs to be done in order to fully understand the effect of dripping, but in the mean time, community members should be vigilant of their kids using, and as always, remember to talk to them about drug usage.

What do you think about this new trend? Comment down below!

Links to story here and here.


Liver Disease Can Happen Pretty Quick

3 February 2017| By: Kevin Trieu

Liver damage can start to begin after a short, brief period of excessive drinking a study states. Researchers studying mice, found that after 21 days of excessive alcohol consumption, mice started to show telltale signs of liver disease. Compared to control mice who had no alcohol, binge drinking mice had 50% more liver triglycerides. Moderate drinking mice and mice with only one binge drinking session, also showed no signs of liver triglycerides. Binge drinking can cause the release of certain enzymes and fatty liver tissues. “Our results strongly suggest that repeated, excessive alcohol drinking, even without alcohol dependence, can cause fatty liver, evidence of early alcohol-related liver dysfunction,” said Dr. Hopf, the study’s senior research officer at UCSF. The study has yet, to look at the long term impacts.

Working in the substance use prevention field, this is not a very big surprise at all. Although, this study was done on mice and not on humans, mice have been used as models in place of humans to study the affect of alcohol for many, many years. The study is a good indicator about some affects of binge drinking on a person’s body. Youth and young adults have a much higher tendency to binge drink, than an adult does. Through our work, and as more studies like this come out, we hope to continue to share information like this, and hopefully, it has an affect on a child’s decisions.

What do you think of the study? Comment down below.

Link to story here.