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Cullen expands smoke-free ordinance

CULLEN – This week, Cullen City Council unanimously voted to extend the state’s current smoke-free ordinance to include bars and gaming establishments within Cullen. “The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and members of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Louisiana (CTFLA) applaud the members of the Cullen City Council for their vote,” the TFL wrote in a press release. When the ordinance goes into effect by May 1, Cullen will become the sixth municipality in Northern Louisiana to go smoke-free and 22nd in the state of Louisiana. “With the passing of this ordinance, Cullen is saying ‘we care enough to protect everyone who works in Cullen, La.’,” said Feamula Bradley, TFL Regional Manager. “The failure to protect the health of all employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke is an oversight by the state, but communities like Cullen are working to overcome this oversight.”

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Boyce expands smoke-free ordinance

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The town of Boyce is expanding Louisiana’s smoke-free ordinance. The town council voted for and passed the smoke-free measure on May 14. It's an extension of the state's smoke-free act from 2007, which prohibited smoking in most public places including all restaurants with or without attached bars Although it didn't include standing bars and gaming facilities, individual cities and towns can choose to further protect everyone at these businesses. In 2012, Alexandria banned smoking at any restaurant, bar, and gaming facility, Boyce is now following suit. While the town doesn't have any of these facilities, Jennifer Gilchrist, Regional Manager of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Living said their decision to join the smoke-free ordinance right now is a good idea. "They do have vaping devices that people use and these are included in their municipal ordinance,” Gilchrist explained. “Because they were not even in existence when the state smoke-free act passed." She also added, “We believe that

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Lawmakers push for a smoke-free Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A legislative committee is working on a smoke-free plan for the State of Louisiana. In 2007, Louisiana’s Smoke-Free Air Act went into effect, prohibiting smoking in most public areas, including workplaces, universities, and restaurants, but it did not include bars and gaming facilities. A recent study found the act doesn’t go far enough to protect all of Louisiana’s workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. “I know for one, it would be to include bars and gaming, and then the other loopholes are allowing smoking in convention halls and centers during Mardi Gras balls as well as tobacco expos. That’s a loophole. There may be some nursing home exemptions as well as hotel/motel. Also, it needs to be increased to include vaping and e-cigarettes,” said Tonia Moore, director of Tobacco Prevention and Control. More than a dozen Louisiana cities, including Baton Rouge, have already passed city-wide smoking bans that include bars and gaming facilities.

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Tioga, AMMS ‘Kick Butts’

Members of the Tioga High School Living Healthy Club erected a memorial wall where students could add the name of someone they knew who died from tobacco use. Tioga High School was one of 53 schools in Central Louisiana participating in Kick Butts Day with funding from the Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant from The Rapides Foundation. Kick Butts Day is recognized nationally by young people to raise awareness against the use of tobacco products. A press release from The Rapides Foundation states, "The Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant seeks to prevent and reduce tobacco use, substance and alcohol abuse, and overweight/obesity by focusing on changing policy, social norms and environments. Grant activities are based on best and promising practices to create comprehensive school- and community-based awareness and prevention programs in order to positively impact Central Louisiana students, educators and staff. The goal is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to make better and informed behavior decisions leading to healthier

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Students and community leaders gather to ‘Kick Butts’ and spread awareness of youth smoking

Student and community leaders gathered in Ruston today on a mission to kick butts — cigarette butts that is.  The Louisiana campaign for Tobacco Free-Living hosted an informational panel to bring education and awareness to the effects of tobacco and vaping, targeted at the youth.  On ‘Kick Butts Day’ youth and health advocates are calling for strong action to reverse the youth e-cigarrette epidemic. Tobacco Free Living director Tonia Moore says that Louisiana’s numbers show there’s still much educating to be done. “We still have a huge issue with youth smoking. In Louisiana we have middle school and high school rates that are above the national average. We’re also seeing an increase in vaping products and a new product we’re seeing called Juul,” said Moore. State youth advocates are encouraging lawmakers to pass a smoke-free law that would make all work and public places smoke-free — protecting the right to breathe clean air.

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