Tobacco Policy Experts & CEO Available to Discuss Tobacco 21 Legislation

Interview Availability: Tobacco Policy Experts & CEO Available to Discuss Tobacco 21 Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2018
Erica Krutsch
Desk: 312-628-0226
Cell: 734-262-4527

WHAT:            Respiratory Health Association, a local leader in tobacco policy change and key advocate for Tobacco 21 in Illinois, has expert staff available for comment on the passage of Tobacco 21 in Illinois.

WHY:               In communities across Illinois, the passage of local Tobacco 21 laws has led to significant declines in cigarette use by youth. In Chicago, where the Tobacco 21 law was accompanied by other City efforts to tighten laws restricting youth access to tobacco, the effect appears to be even more dramatic.

The health consequence of this development is significant because 95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21, making early intervention a key strategy in building a tobacco-free generation.  Each year tobacco use costs Illinois $5.49 billion in health care costs and $5.27 billion in lost productivity, according to research from the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.

Respiratory Health Association serves as Healthy Chicago’s community co-leader for tobacco control and offers evidence-based tobacco control strategies and smoking cessation programs. Respiratory Health Association played a leading role in the passage of Smoke-Free Illinois and has been a strong advocate for statewide adoption of Tobacco 21 in Illinois.

WHEN:             Immediately 

WHO:  Joel J. Africk – President and Chief Executive Officer
             Respiratory Health Association
              Available on site or by phone

              Matt Maloney – Director, Health Policy
             Respiratory Health Association
              Available on site or by phone

WHERE:        Respiratory Health Association

                        1440 West Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

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Respiratory Health Association has been a local public health leader in Metropolitan Chicago since 1906. A policy leader, our organization remains committed to advancing innovative and meaningful tobacco control policies.  We have been one of the state’s leading advocates for Tobacco 21 and Other Tobacco Product policies.  For more information, visit www.resphealth.org.

Over 200 Cyclists Ride to Fight Lung Disease at CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2018
 
Contact: Erica Krutsch
Desk: 312-628-0225 
Cell: 734-262-4527

Over 200 cyclists ride to fight lung disease at CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour

WHAT: Respiratory Health Association’s CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour is an annual cycling event from Lake County, Illinois through southern Wisconsin. Over 200 cyclists of all ages from across Chicagoland will line up at Gurnee Mills to pedal as far as 190 miles in Respiratory Health Association’s 22nd annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour. Participants will bike 18 miles, one, two or three days and cross the finish line in Hubertus, Wisc. The event will raise $200,000 for Respiratory Health Association’s lung disease research and programs.

WHY: The tour raises awareness and funds to fight lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to support clean air and other healthy lung initiatives. This year’s event kicks off with special guests Illinois State Senator Terry Link, Lake County Board Member Paul Frank and youth advocates for lung health from the Catalyst Youth Prevention Group of Stevenson High School. Respiratory Health Association will thank participants for the important roles they played in passing Illinois’ new Tobacco 21 legislation, which raises the tobacco purchase age to 21 from 18, a policy proven to reduce teen smoking. The deadline for Gov. Rauner to sign Tobacco 21 into law is August 27.

WHEN: Saturday – Monday, August 4, 5 and 6, 2018. Start line media opportunities begin at 7:00 a.m. Ride begins at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Start line located in Gurnee Mills Parking Lot H, at the intersection of Interstate 94 and Grand Avenue (IL 132) in Gurnee, Ill. Cyclists will travel through southern Wisconsin Aug. 5 and 6 with stops in Williams Bay, Whitewater, and Hubertus, Wisc.

SCHEDULE FOR PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES:

  • 7:00 a.m. Riders begin arriving in Gurnee Mills Parking Lot H to check in
  • 9:00 a.m. The Charity Bike Tour officially kicks off with Lake County legislators ringing the official start line bell. Riders depart for Wisconsin as a mass start.
  • Media opportunities at other points of the ride can be arranged by contacting Erica Krutsch, RHA Director of Marketing & Communications, at 734-262-4527.

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES (REQUESTED IN ADVANCE IF POSSIBLE):

  • Hundreds of cyclists, many of whom are personally affected by lung disease
  • Youth advocates for lung health from the Catalyst Youth Prevention Group of Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire, Ill.), representing the youth sector of Stand Strong Coalition
  • Joel Africk, President and CEO of Respiratory Health Association
  • Illinois State Senator Terry Link
  • Lake County Board Member Paul Frank

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Respiratory Health Association has been a local public health leader since 1906. Today, the association works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air and help people live better through education, research and policy change. For more information, visit www.resphealth.org.

Media Alert: News Conference on Racial Disparities among Children with Asthma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2018

CONTACT:
Erica Krutsch
Director, Marketing and Communications
Respiratory Health Association
Desk: (312) 628-0225
Cell: (734) 262-4527

Latest Study Shows Persisting Racial Disparities Among Chicago Children with Asthma

News conference with Julie Morita, MD, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner 

WHO:       President & CEO of Respiratory Health Association Joel Africk, Dr. Julie Morita, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Ken Fox, Chief Health Officer for Chicago Public Schools and Dr. Ruchi Gupta, pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, will discuss new data on racial disparities in pediatric asthma.

WHAT:     Data analysis by Respiratory Health Association shows little progress in addressing racial disparities among Chicago children with asthma. The report focuses on rates of asthma-related emergency department visits from 2009-2015.

                 African American children accounted for over 63% of all asthma-related emergency department visits recorded in 2015. The rate of visits by that group remained 75% greater than the citywide rate. In addition, racial disparities in childhood asthma contribute to over $6 million in avoidable health care charges each year in Chicago.

WHEN:     World Asthma Day – May 1, 2018 at 10:00 AM

                  Speakers will be available for interview beginning at 10:20 AM

WHERE:   Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

                 225 E Chicago Ave, 11th floor conference center

WHY:        Chicago has been identified as an epicenter for asthma, with higher prevalence in minority communities on the city’s west and south sides.

                 Following the news conference, leaders in asthma research and policy will convene for a short summit to discuss next steps and recommendations for increasing health equity among Chicagoans with asthma.

About Respiratory Health Association

Respiratory Health Association (RHA) has been a local public health leader in Chicago since 1906. Our mission is to prevent lung disease, promote clean air and help people live better through education, research and policy change. RHA’s asthma education programs teach 2,000 Chicago students asthma management techniques each year.  For more information, visit www.resphealth.org.

State Lung Health Education Day Brings Constituents to Springfield to Fight Lung Disease – Wednesday, April 18, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2018

CONTACT:
Erica Krutsch
Director, Marketing and Communications
Respiratory Health Association
Desk: (312) 628-0225
Cell: (734) 262-4527

State Lung Health Education Day Brings Constituents to Springfield to Fight Lung Disease – Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WHAT:     Respiratory Health Association’s State Lung Health Education Day is an annual advocacy event. More than 30 constituents from across the state travel to Springfield, IL to meet with elected officials and advocate for policies that address lung disease and clean air.

This year, RHA’s top policy priorities include:

  • Raising the purchase age of tobacco to 21
  • Permitting schools to stock emergency asthma medication
  • Raising awareness of COPD, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis and asthma
  • Promoting clean renewable energy 

WHEN:     Wednesday, April 18, 2018   9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:   Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, IL

SCHEDULE FOR PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES:

  • 5:30 am – 6:00 am – Bus loading at RHA offices in Chicago
  • 9:30 am Arrival in Springfield, IL
  • 9:30 am – 1:00 pm legislative visits

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES – REQUESTED IN ADVANCE IF POSSIBLE

  • Lung disease patients and family members participating in State Lung Health Education Day.
  • Joel Africk, President and CEO of Respiratory Health Association.
  • Matt Maloney, Director, Health Policy, Respiratory Health Association.
  • Senator Dave Koehler, sponsor of asthma legislation
  • Senator Julie Morrison/Rep. Camille Lilly Sponsors of Tobacco 21

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Respiratory Health Association has been a local public health leader since 1906. Today, the association works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air and help people live better through education, research, and policy change. For more information, visit www.resphealth.org.