Issue Brief – ACA is Good for Lung Health

Download the Issue Brief – Affordable Care Act is Good for Lung Health PDF.


Executive Summary

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Since that time, more than one million Illinois residents gained insurance coverage through either the Health Insurance Marketplace or the Medicaid Expansion, and the uninsured rate in Illinois has fallen by 49 percent.

With ongoing threats to the ACA from Congress, advocates are taking a close look at how its possible repeal will impact vulnerable populations, both locally and nationally, with a particular focus on the numbers who will lose their health care coverage.

With this brief, the Respiratory Health Association (RHA) focused on why a repeal of the ACA would be bad for lung health. Several provisions of the ACA have been particularly valuable to efforts to prevent and improve health outcomes for people living with asthma and other respiratory conditions; we highlight four of those:

  • Dependent Coverage for Young Adults: Reducing Asthma Emergency Room Visits
  • Medicaid Expansion: Improving Quality of Asthma Care
  • The Prevention and Public Health Fund: Supporting Tobacco Control
  • Requiring Coverage for Pre-Existing Condition: Making Treatment Affordable

Date of Publication: May 2017


If you have questions or would like additional information about the Affordable Care Act and lung health, please contact Erica Salem via email [email protected] or by phone (312) 628-0235.

10 Tips to Quit Smoking

Download the 10 Tips to Quit Smoking PDF.

Hang this list on your refrigerator, by your door, over your desk – wherever you need reminders and support.

1. Stay motivated.

Make a list of reasons to quit and carry the list with you. Revisit these reasons when you have the urge to smoke.

2. Set a date.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important health decisions a person can make, but it takes work and commitment. Setting a quit date in advance and making preparations is key to starting a new, smoke-free life.

3. Remove evidence of cigarettes.

To get smoking out of your life, clean out your car, wash your clothes, put away your ashtrays, and get rid of all your cigarettes. Keeping cigarettes or lighters “just in case” undermines your self-confidence.

4. Change your routine.

Cut smoke breaks out of your life and remove temptations by changing your routine as much as possible. For example, sit in a different place at the kitchen table, take a new route to work or drink tea instead of coffee.

5. Reward yourself for not smoking.

Set short and long term goals, and reward yourself for each milestone you reach. Making a “contract” with yourself or a friend can help you stay resolved.

6. Drink more water.

When you have the urge to smoke, drinking water can combat the craving and get your mind off of smoking. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, which are common triggers for people who smoke.

7. Plan ahead for temptation.

Eat frequent, small meals to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Keep substitutes (such as carrots, raisins, gum, hard candy and lollipops) handy to keep your hands and mouth busy. You can also keep your hands busy by carrying a stress ball, a doodle pad or a pack of cards.

8. Get moving.

When a craving hits, get up and go for a walk, do some push-ups or call a friend. Staying active will keep your mind off of smoking until the craving passes.

9. Find support.

Be proactive about spending time with non-smokers and/or ex-smokers. Plan non-smoking tactics before you go to events where other people might be smoking.

10. Don’t be discouraged.

Many former smokers tried to stop several times before they finally succeeded. If you give in to a craving, don’t let it get you down. Examine what went wrong, learn from what happened and quit again!


Visit I Want to Quit Smoking for additional resources.