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Tobacco use is one of the biggest threats to you and your family’s health. Smoking and second-hand smoke are the leading causes of heart disease, lung disease, and cancer related death. In order to improve your health and protect the health of others around you, here are a few things that you can do right now.
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. We all know that tobacco products such as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can erode away your health. But research also shows that children who have a parent who smokes are more likely to smoke and to be heavier smokers at young ages. When parents quit smoking, their children become less likely to start smoking and more likely to quit if they already smoke.
If you do smoke, quit. Here are some resources to help you.
- Illinois Tobacco Quitline
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is a free resource, funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health, for people who want to quit smoking for good. Registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco-treatment counselors are on call seven days a week, 7am-11pm to answer all of your tobacco-related questions. Call 1-888-Quit Yes. Information available in multiple languages and for deaf/hearing impaired.
A project of National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation to help people quit smoking.
A free, online smoking cessation community.
- CCDPH Quit Kit
Quitting smoking is hard and to help you get started, CCDPH has a Quit Kit that includes a few things that will help you in the process. Request a Quit Kit today. Limit one per suburban Cook County resident, while supplies last.
Encourage your kids not to smoke. Kids are very vulnerable to tobacco advertising and most adult, long-time smokers admit to starting their habit at 13-14 years of age. You can encourage your kids to stay away from tobacco:
- If you smoke, share your struggles to quit with your children. Kids greatly underestimate how difficult it is to quit smoking. Showing how hard it is to quit (and making sure quitting doesn’t look easy) can help eliminate this misperception. Trying to quit sends a strong anti-smoking message.
- Tell your kids that you don’t want them to smoke. Parental attitudes, opinions and feelings about their kids’ smoking status greatly influence whether or not kids will smoke, even when the parent smokes.
- Encourage and maintain a smoke-free home. A smoke-free home makes children less likely to smoke, even if their parents smoke.
Support smoke-free environments in your community. By supporting smoke free parks, playgrounds, work and school campuses, you are protecting yourself, the ones your love, and others from the effects of 2nd hand smoke, excessive litter, and increased health costs due to tobacco. Contact your local elected official to see what is happening in your community.