Over 30 advocates travel to Springfield for State Lung Health Education Day

With each visit, email, and phone call, dedicated individuals are creating change. Every step is a move toward a healthier, cleaner future.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Respiratory Health Association’s (RHA) staff and lung health advocates traveled to the Illinois State Capitol for State Lung Health Education Day, RHA’s annual statewide advocacy event.

Over 30 constituents met with House and Senate legislators to support this year’s top policy priorities:

  • Tobacco 21
  • Clean Energy Jobs Act
  • Allow communities to ban the use of coal tar pavement sealants
  • Encourage the use of electric power vehicles
  • Increase the tax on cigarettes and taxing e-cigarettes

Constituents met with the following representatives and senators:

  • Costello
  • Davis
  • Durkin
  • Evans
  • Feigenholtz
  • Gabel
  • Gong-Gershowitz
  • Guzzardi
  • Harmon
  • Hernandez
  • Hurley
  • Kalish
  • Mussman
  • Ortiz
  • Slaughter
  • Smith
  • Tarver
  • Walker
  • Walsh
  • Welch
  • Williams
  • Yingling
  • Bush
  • Cullerton
  • Cunningham
  • Curran
  • Fine
  • Glowiak
  • Harris
  • Hastings
  • Hunter
  • Koehler
  • Landek
  • McClure
  • Mulroe
  • Murphy
  • Peters
  • Sims

During the visits, advocates thanked these legislators for supporting #Tobacco21 and informed them about other bills to support to continue furthering Illinois’ lung health including smoke-free initiatives, cleaning up the air, and including e-cigarettes and vaping products in the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

Tobacco 21 aims to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 in Illinois. This will save lives by reducing the number of new smokers and smoking-related illness.  95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21, so this is a crucial time for prevention. For the economy, Tobacco 21 will also save on medical costs and lost productivity.

Group of volunteer advocates in the Illinois state capital building

RHA Lung Health Advocates in Springfield on March 6, 2019.

RHA Advocacy Wins

For over 110 years, RHA has been committed to effecting change through lung disease research, education and advocacy, and they have multiple previous successes:

  • Stock Emergency Asthma Rescue Medication, a law that permits schools to keep rescue asthma medication, such as albuterol, and allows trained school staff and nurses to administer the medication.
  • Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act, an innovative clean energy law that vitalizes Illinois’ economy by creating energy efficient programs, funding renewable energy, and producing thousands of energy efficient jobs.
  • Smoke Free Illinois Act, a law that prohibits smoking cigarettes in public spaces, including schools, offices, retail stores, and restaurants.

Did you miss State Lung Health Education Day?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities to be a lung health advocate! Join our E-Advocacy Team to support lung health at the municipal, state, and national levels. RHA offers plenty of opportunities to connect with your representatives through email, phone, and in person. Next year, everyone signed up as an e-advocate will receive updates about State Lung Health Education Day 2020.