Becomes 10th Louisiana City to Pass Smoke-Free Ordinance
Bogalusa, La. – December 20, 2016 – Tonight, the city of Bogalusa became the 10th municipality in the state to pass a city-wide smoke-free ordinance.
Local youth were instrumental to the passage of this ordinance, as their presentation on the dangers of secondhand smoke helped show the council the need for passing this legislation – what is now the strongest smoke-free ordinance across all of Louisiana. The Healthier Air For All Campaign applauds and thanks the Bogalusa City Council for their votes in favor of protecting the health of all Bogalusa youth and adults by making all indoor spaces, including bars and gaming facilities, smoke-free.
The smoke-free measure, championed by Councilwoman Gloria Kates ensures that all employees, Bogalusa youth and all Bogalusa citizens will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke.
“This ordinance is about protecting the health for all in Bogalusa, plain and simple,” said Tonia Moore, Director of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). “Everyone in Bogalusa has a right to breathe clean air and I applaud the Bogalusa Council for their courage in passing this ordinance."
Under Act 815, free-standing bars and gaming facilities were exempted from having smoke-free workplaces, and local governing bodies were given the power to enact stronger local smoke-free policies. Today, Bogalusa joins nine other municipalities throughout the state that feature city and parish-wide smoke-free ordinances, including New Orleans, Hammond, Sulphur, Monroe City, West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, the town of Cheneyville, the town of Woodworth, and Alexandria.
“This is a critical public health issue and the time is right to address it. Bar and gaming facility employees involuntarily inhale enough secondhand smoke every day to suffer some of the same negative health effects of pack-a-day smokers and prolonged exposure can damage performers’ vocal chords or shut them down entirely. The passing of the ordinance is a huge step in a healthier direction, and I want to thank the Bogalusa council for unanimously taking a stand for the health for all of Bogalusa.” said Jaime Bruins, Regional Manager, Bogalusa area, for TFL.
More than 6,500 Louisianans die from smoking-related causes yearly and costs Louisiana almost $1.5 billion in healthcare costs every year. The evidence on secondhand smoke’s toll on public health is clear. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of them are toxic and at least 69 cause cancer. In addition, the Surgeon General has found that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome, and low birth weight in infants and children.
About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
LPHI, founded in 1997, is a statewide 501©(3) nonprofit and public health institute that translates evidence into strategy to optimize health ecosystems. Our work focuses on uncovering complementary connections across sectors to combine the social, economic, and human capital needed to align action for health. We champion health for people, within systems, and throughout communities because we envision a world where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. For more information, visit www.lphi.org.
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Office of Public Health, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Well-Ahead initiative coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, offering services for people who are ready to quit and developing statewide media campaigns to help reduce the excessive burden of tobacco use on the state’s resources and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a 100-percent smoke-free Louisiana, visit www.healthierairforall.org. To learn more about quitting tobacco, visit www.quitwithusla.org.
About the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC)
The Louisiana Cancer Research Center of New Orleans provides a structure in which Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - the state's two leading medical research institutions - will work together and coordinate cancer research development in preparation for recognition as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Designated Cancer Center. The consortium is funded through five cents of the tobacco excise tax, three cents to fund infrastructure and cancer research program development for the new Consortium and two cents for tobacco control and prevention programs. Conservative estimates indicate that approximately $10 million per year will be generated from this revenue source. For more information, visit www.lcrc.info.