The Need

Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Although there has been a general decline in the number of adult smokers in the past three decades, the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control show that the share of existing smokers in the adult population is 14.9%. The current smoking rate among Chicago adults is higher at 18.4%. The most vulnerable populations – the young, disadvantaged, and less educated – have the highest percentages of smokers and the least probability for cessation treatment.

The purpose of this website and our group is to educate Chicago area residents who use tobacco in any form about cessation resources and provide access and support options for those smokers who are interested in participating in the Tobacco Cessation Program offered by the Northwestern Medicine.

Most smokers are still trying to quit on their own. Each year nearly 2 in 5 cigarette smokers try to quit, but fewer than 4% succeed, a reflection of both the higher level of addiction to nicotine in the nation’s remaining smokers and lack of access to cessation treatment. Now more than ever, smokers need reliable and relatable information about quitting. The largest study of its kind reported that whether one smokes tobacco or not has a greater impact on life span than being wealthy or poor. Findings also confirmed that it is never too late to quit – ex-smokers had survival rates much closer to those who had never smoked than to those with a tobacco habit.

On a local level, there are very few cessation programs in Chicago and funding for same has been has been dramatically reduced. Comprehensive tobacco cessation programs such as the one offered at Northwestern Medicine help prevent countless premature deaths and save direct and indirect costs connected to tobacco use. Raising awareness, expanding educational outreach and increasing access to our programs and support options so that any tobacco user can attend the extremely successful Tobacco Cessation Program at Northwestern Medicine has the potential to dramatically impact prevalence in the Chicagoland area. More information on the Northwestern Medicine program may be found here: https://www.nm.org/conditions-and-care-areas/pulmonary/the-division-of-pulmonary-and-critical-care-medicine/tobacco-cessation