When I think of health the first thing that comes to mind are the lungs. Air is something so basic that I feel like we tend to neglect it just because it is always around us therefore it can’t run out. The Climate Reality Project states, “According to the United States National Climate Assessment, climate change is expected to decrease Agricultural productivity in the Midwest over the long term. Climate change will mean rising risks to public health in the Midwest, ranging from more frequent and intense heat waves to dirtier and more polluted air and water.” Illinois is already not doing so well and while the air cannot “run out” it can certainly harm us. While it is difficult to limit the use of our cars, and reduce the air pollution causes by factories and power plants there is one thing that we get to limit very easily.
According to Miranda Hitti from WebMD Health News, she points out that the smoke of cigarettes are more dangerous to our air compared to a diesel car exhaust. Since Chicago is a very dense city, the number of people who smoke is higher than a less populated city. A public health concern would not only be the pollution of the air but the risks that smokers take and the risk that they put others in by second hand smoke. The harmful effects that smoking/secondhand smoke can cause a person is scary and costly.
Chicago has made many efforts to bring awareness to this ongoing issue. One thing that has been done is the ban on e-cigarettes and vaping in public places. Along with the ban on vaping and e-cigarettes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health launched “Vaping” a campaign dedicated to informing Chicago youth the truth about of e-cigarettes. On the City of Chicago site there is a page dedicated to what the Chicago Department of Public Health and our mayor have down to cut down these issues. They provide resources that one could go on such as a hotline number. UIC is also an example of how Chicago has attempted to limit smoking by making this campus a tobacco free zone.
By continuing this and opening more tobacco free zones in Chicago as well as creating more green spaces in the city, the risk of many illnesses like lung cancer, heart disease, asthma and more are less likely to happen.
Hitti, Miranda. “Smoking Worse Than Exhaust for Air Pollution.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20040823/smoking-worse-than-exhaust-for-air-pollution
“How You Can Help Solve Climate Change.” Climate Reality. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. <https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/what-does-climate-change-mean-for-illinois_.pdf
“Tobacco Prevention.” City of Chicago ::. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/drug.html