|The Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco (ICAT) is the only statewide organization committed to reducing tobacco use in Illinois by advocating for policies and programs that prevent youth from using tobacco products and help smokers quit.
ICAT wants the public to know the facts:
- Tobacco contains nicotine, an addictive drug that makes it very difficult for users to quit.
- Nicotine addiction is a pediatric disease. The average age to become a daily smoker is 14.5 years.
- Tobacco kills more than 440,000 smokers in America each year. One of every three smokers dies from tobacco-related disease.
- Secondhand smoke is deadly. It kills about 53,000 nonsmokers and triggers roughly 1,000,000 episodes of childhood illness every year.
- Annual health care costs attributable to tobacco use are in excess of $96 billion dollars in the United States.
- The tobacco industry spends more than $29 million a day to promote their product. They target market to teens, minorities and women.
- The Tobacco Industry and its allies have tremendous political power in Illinois and the federal level. It is one of the most powerful special interest groups, contributing massive amounts of money to politicians and political parties.
ICAT initiatives include:
Tobacco Policy Development
ICAT's Center for Tobacco Control Policy and Action oversees tobacco policy development. The Center provides training and technical support throughout Illinois to promote tobacco control policy initiatives at the state and local level including: opposing the tobacco industry's attempts to pass pro-tobacco legislation and weaken the Smokefree Act of Illinois, restricting youth access to tobacco; increasing the cigarette excise tax: and regulating cigarette advertising and promotion.
Youth can play an important role in changing attitudes and behaviors of their peers and educating decision makers on tobacco control policies. ICAT has skill building training programs to assist youth in making a difference in their communities.
ICAT provides technical assistance and training modules to community groups to mobilize them to take action and advocate for policies that will reduce tobacco use and keep youth from starting.
Some of ICAT’s accomplishments:
- Passage of Smokefree Illinois Act, the most protective law in the country
- Prohibiting smoking on school property
- Increasing the state cigarette excise tax to 98 cents per pack
- Increasing Cook County’s excise tax to $2 a pack.
Questions or comments? Email ICAT at firstname.lastname@example.org