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Join the Movement for “Smoke-Free Week in Baton Rouge” November 16-21, 2015

Nov. 11, 2015

The Healthier Air for All Campaign and partners invite East Baton Rouge Parish to celebrate GASO and enjoy a week of smoke-free events and venues

Baton Rouge, La. – Nov. 11, 2015 - The Healthier Air for All Campaign (HAFA), a program of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and administered by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), is working together with numerous partners to celebrate the Great American SMokeout (GASO) and to promote the benefits of smoke-free environments by sponsoring Smoke-Free Week, November 16-21, 2015, in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Smoke-Free Week is a health initiative designed to raise awareness on the risks that secondhand smoke exposure poses, particularly to bar employees, patrons, and musicians throughout the greater Baton Rouge area. Service industry and gaming facility employees, along with musicians, breathe more secondhand smoke while at work than any other type of employee, and can suffer from many of the same illnesses as smokers.

Furthering the mission of Smoke-Free Week is the fact that a national health recognition movement from the American Cancer Society falls during the same week. The Great American Smokeout (GASO) is Thursday, November 19, 2015, and is a day where community members are encouraged to “quit like champions” each year by making a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and stop smoking that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers take an important step toward a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing their cancer risk.

Smoke-Free Week will kick-off with a smoke-free show hosted by Michael Foster at Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s (214 3rd St #2D in Baton Rouge) on Nov. 16th from 6-9:30 p.m. The “Red Beans and Rice” show will feature music by The Michael Foster Project starting at 6:45 p.m. at this historically smoking establishment. Community members are encouraged to join in the celebration for entertainment and healthier air all night long.

“I am excited about being a part of this smoke-free event and the Great American Smokeout week. A Smoke-Free Week like this is long overdue here in Baton Rouge,” said Michael Foster.

During Smoke-Free Week, local bars are being encouraged to join many other local establishments that have voluntarily gone smoke-free. Bars were invited to participate in one of the following ways, and many have expressed interest or signed up to host happy hours:

“TFL is thrilled to have worked with our many partners throughout East Baton Rouge Parish and with the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation on providing Baton Rouge citizens, business owners, bar patrons, bar employees and our musicians the opportunity to showcase their support of smoke-free environments,” said Quanda Charles, EBR area Regional Manager for TFL. “We are committed to protecting and preserving Louisiana’s unique culture through healthier environments for all.”

For a full listing of Smoke-Free Week events, click here. For a listing of smoke-free venues and events throughout Baton Rouge, or around Louisiana, or visit http://www.healthierairforall.org.

The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC)

The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium 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

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) 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 Public Health Institute (LPHI)

Founded in 1997, The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s mission is to promote and improve the health and quality of life in Louisiana through public-private partnering at the community, parish and state levels. By fostering collaborative endeavors in the areas of health information, public policy, applied research, and community capacity enhancement, LPHI works to develop community-oriented solutions that improve the health of the Louisiana population. For more information, visit www.lphi.org.