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City Services


Tobacco Use SpotlightNo Smoking


What We Do

Tobacco Prevention

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease and death in Chicago and the U.S.  It harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general.

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline (866-QUIT-YES) is a FREE resource for tobacco users who want to quit.  Nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco-treatment counselors are on-call 7 days a week, 7AM-11PM to answer all your tobacco-related questions and provide the support you need to break the habit.

BURNED – By Menthol Cigarettes

Flavors make tobacco products especially appealing to kids and can lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction.  Research shows menthol-flavored cigarettes have slowed efforts to reduce youth smoking and there is evidence of the continued advertisement of menthol-flavored products to youth.

CDPH’s ongoing awareness ad campaign “BURNED” aims to counter Big Tobacco’s message and empower Chicago youth to make healthier choices.   Residents can follow the “BURNED” movement on social media with hashtag #NoMoreMenthol

Burned by Menthol Cigarettes

What is menthol?

Derived from the peppermint plant, menthol provides a minty flavor and cooling sensation in cigarettes, covering up the tobacco taste and reducing the throat irritation associated with smoking. (American Legacy Foundation: http://www.legacyforhealth.org/our-issues/menthol)

What are the public health effects of menthol cigarettes?

Scientific evidence suggests that menthol smokers may have a harder time quitting than non-menthol smokers.  (American Legacy Foundation:  http://www.legacyforhealth.org/our-issues/menthol/consider-your-source/public-health-effects-on-menthol-cigarettes)

Who’s most at risk?

While overall smoking rates in the U.S. are declining, use of menthol cigarettes, particularly among young smokers, is rising. (Respiratory Health Association:  http://www.lungchicago.org/site/files/487/54230/212503/669011/Menthol_Fact_Sheet_optimized.pdf) 

Menthol cigarettes are disproportionately smoked by adolescents, African Americans, adult females, those living in the Northeast of the United States and those with family incomes lower than $50,000. (CDC: http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/3597)

The tobacco industry has targeted black communities in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes (e.g., campaigns that use urban culture and language to promote menthol cigarettes, tobacco-sponsored hip-hop bar nights with samples of specialty menthol cigarettes, targeted direct mail promotions.  (CDC:  http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/marketing/)

Chicago’s Call to Action 

Mayor Emanuel Joins With Community Groups To Push Public Health Ordinances To Curb Youth Smoking

Mayor Emanuel Cracks Down on the Tobacco Industry over Marketing of Menthol Tobacco in Continuing Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Youth

Healthy Chicago Policy Brief on Menthol, August 2013

Most Recent News (Tobacco Prevention)

Nov 3, 2014 Mayor Emanuel Announces City Action Against Restraining Order Filed by Local Tobacco Industry Vendors
Oct 9, 2014 City of Chicago Investigators Crackdown on 165 Businesses in 60 Days for Tobacco Violations
Sep 22, 2014 Mayor Emanuel Launches Video Contest to Get Youth Active in the Fight Against Big Tobacco
Sep 16, 2014 Top City Health Officials Come to Capitol Hill with Dire Message on Opioid Abuse and Addiction
Aug 18, 2014 Nobody Quits Like Chicago: More than 24 Local Advocacy Groups Unite for Smoking Cessation Awareness Week

View all News Releases (Tobacco Prevention)


Supporting Information

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