Public health in the city of Chicago is a concern that is dealt with continuously. With urban sustainability on the rise, Chicago is combatting relevant issues today and one being the global use of tobacco. Smoking today still has the same effects it’s had since we first knew its harm. Many of us know that tobacco use is conducive to cancers and that secondhand smoke has an affect on people and land around us, not to mention the air quality. For those who are still smoking, a public health initiative Healthy Chicago through the Chicago Department of Public Health, CDPH, has resources to quit the use. The website also provides awareness information on different tobacco products and even ways of prevention. It is a good place to start for those in need of assistance.
However for others, like myself who know the dangers of smoking but continue to anyway by personal choice should not be muted from the conversation. I came across an article, “Does a Tobacco Company’s Environmental Effort Really Matter?” on TriplePundit, a media source that exclaims that tobacco giants and their efforts do not matter. Regardless if the BAT, British American Tobacco, released its Sustainability Report detailing the criterion for energy, water and waste was met ahead of schedule.
So since I smoke cigarettes should I go ahead and quit my efforts and plans for Urban sustainability? I’m thinking not.
Instead a reasonable course of action would be to enhance collection of waste of tobacco through the city. Chicago has fairly clean streets but many cigarette butts are lying on the street when they could be thrown in a canister that may somehow extract the waste contents for sustainability purposes. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know how they’d do it, but there are already solar powered and segregated receptacles on every corner so why not have one for tobacco products? That way the City of Chicago progresses in healthy living while also helping the environment by collecting tobacco waste that could potentially be recycled or disposed of sustainably. As well as it allows alternatives for those who have a little more difficulty quitting to continue if they choose to.
- CIty of Chicago: Public Health Department
- TriplePundit: People, Planet, Profit