It's been almost five years since smoking was allowed in enclosed public places in the State of Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Public Health is saying "thanks from the bottom of our lungs."
The Smoke-Free Illinois Act was enacted on January 1, 2008 and prohibits smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, schools, casinos, and other enclosed public places. As a celebration of the act's fifth anniversary, the IDPH is launching the "Thanks from the bottom of our lungs" campaign to help continue support for smoke-free environments and their health benefits.
"Breathing in secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer and heart disease in adults who don't smoke. In children, secondhand smoke can increase the risk of serious respiratory problems, such as more frequent and severe asthma attacks, as well as respiratory tract infections," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says.
Since the establishment of the act in 2008, the number of Illinois residents who reported smoking decreased from 21.3 percent to 16.9 percent in 2010. The Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-855-QUIT-YES) also saw a 45 percent increase in calls from people wishing to quit from 2008 to 2012, going from 7,629 calls in 2008 to 24,575 calls in 2012.
A 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General estimated that secondhand smoke exposure resulted in the death of around 50,000 people per year in the United States and 2,000 people per year in Illinois.
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