MEDICAL DISTRICT — The Emanuel administration is fostering a city of quitters — smokers who quit cigarettes, that is.
The Department of Public Health launched its second annual weeklong "Nobody Quits Like Chicago" anti-smoking campaign Monday.
According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's press office, Chicago leads the nation in declines in youth and adult smoking rates. In a release issued Monday, it cited the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control showing that the adult smoking rate was 17.7 percent, a record low, and that just 10.7 percent of Chicago high-school students are smokers, almost a third below the U.S. average of 15.7 percent.
"Chicago is leading the nation when it comes to reducing tobacco use," Emanuel said in a statement. "This week is the latest example of our collaborative efforts to both help adults kick the habit and ensure our youth never start in the first place."
The Department of Public Health and Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita scheduled an event at the Mile Square Health Center, near the Medical District, for Monday afternoon. The department targeted smoking as "the single most preventable cause of disease and death in Chicago and the United States."
The event highlighted Mi-QUIT, a free, six-month smoking-cessation program at the health center that helps pregnant women who want to reduce the amount they smoke or kick the habit for good. Heart screenings were also included, because of the relationship between cardiovascular disease and smoking.
"Chicago is a national leader in reducing youth and adult smoking rates alike," Morita said. "There are still thousands of smokers who want to quit, and by working with partners across the city we will be able to help more."
The department has devoted a Web page to the campaign against tobacco, including a state hotline number.
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