Statistics have shown that Louisiana’s African American males have higher than average smoking rates, and lower than average use of Quitline services. To combat this trend, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) recently launched the African American Male Cessation Campaign in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
This campaign was developed to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco use while also encouraging the use of Louisiana’s free Quitline services. In addition to social and paid media tactics, TFL’s grassroots partner, the Communities of Color Network (CoC) via the Southern University Agricultural Land-Grant Campus, will work across the Baton Rouge area to host a series of targeted events, educational sessions with community stakeholders and providers, as well as a Community Conversation event in the coming months.
In Louisiana, African American males have the highest smoking prevalence of any racial/gender group, at 28.2 percent, and smoke at a rate 1.2 times higher than white males.
Louisiana Population (Census, 2015)
Smoking Prevalence (BRFSS, 2015)
Quitline Callers (Louisiana Quitline, 2016)
According to the Louisiana Tumor Registry, African American males maintain the highest rates of lung cancer diagnosis and death in the state. Additionally, Louisiana’s African American males have a lung cancer diagnosis rate 27 percent higher than the national average and a death rate 32 percent higher than the national average among this demographic.
“The smoking rates among African American males in Louisiana are higher than the national average, and these numbers indicate there should be increased efforts to educate communities on the dangers of tobacco use,” said Tonia Moore, Director for TFL. “Additionally, while African Americans make more attempts to quit, they are less successful than white and Hispanic cigarette smokers, possibly because of lower knowledge of cessation treatments such as counseling and medication. Louisiana’s free Quitline is a wonderful service we’re proud to be able to promote during this campaign to benefit the health of a population historically targeted by Big Tobacco.”
QWULA operates a toll-free phone number (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and a website (www.quitwithusla.org), both of which provide quit coaches, quit plans and medications at no charge to Louisianans looking to quit tobacco. The Quitline works hand in hand with the Smoking Cessation Trust, which began operation in 2012. The Trust also offers free medications, nicotine replacement therapy, group and individual counseling and coaching to help Louisiana residents who started smoking prior to September 1, 1988, to quit.
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.
About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
LPHI, founded in 1997, is a statewide 501(c)(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.