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Louisiana Smoking Rates Decline as Great American Smokeout Events Planned Across the State

Nov. 15, 2016

Over the course of two years, Louisiana’s adult smoking rate has decreased by 1.6 percent – dropping from 23.5 percent of adult smokers in 2013 to 21.9 percent in 2015.

“Louisiana continues to make progress in our fight against tobacco’s influence across the state thanks to our network of free quit resources and partners, parish and city smoke-free ordinances and the recent tobacco tax increases,” said Tonia Moore, Director of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). “More than 11,000 smokers in Louisiana have called the 1-800-QUIT-NOW Quitline since January 2015 to get free help on kicking the habit. However, Louisiana has a long way to go before we see greater declines in smoking among adults and youth.”

On Thursday, November 17th, TFL’s Regional Managers and partner organizations will host numerous events across the state to encourage tobacco users to quit and provide encouragement and free resources in celebration of the Great American Smokeout (GASO). GASO, created by the American Cancer Society, is an annual national event held the third Thursday of November to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and stop smoking that day.

Region 1 (New Orleans Area)

What: “Quit cold turkey” – trade your pack of cigarettes for a free “cold turkey” sandwich and free cessation resources.

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 11 am – 2 pm

Where: Southern University 6400 Press Drive New Orleans, LA 70126

Who: Communities of Color, Southern University of New Orleans, TFL

Region 2 (Greater Baton Rouge Area)

What: Quit smoking seminar, free cessation resources and a “substitute the butts” challenge for free lunch and refreshments.

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 11 am – 2 pm

Where: Southern University Ag Center, B. A. Little Drive, H St, Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Who: Southern University Ag Center/College of Agriculture, Communities of Color, Southern University Intramural Sports Department, TFL

What: Phil Brady’s Bar & Grill will go smoke-free for one night in honor of GASO

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 9:30 pm

Where: 4848 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Who: Paula Rangell, Smoke-Free East Baton Rouge

Region 5 (Greater Lake Charles Area)

What: Allen Parish Hospital Tobacco-Free policy announcement, GASO themed games, cessation information and giveaways (open to the public)

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 10 am – 1 pm

Where: Allen Parish Hospital, 830 Fourth Ave., Kinder, LA, 70648

What: American Heart Association SWLA Heart Walk

When: Saturday, Nov. 12, 7 am – 1 pm

Where: Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Region 7 (Greater Shreveport Area)

What: Hollywood Heights Community Wellness Event

When: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4 pm

Where: Hollywood Heights Park, 4815 McDaniel Dr., Shreveport, LA

Who: TFL, LSU Ag Center, 4H, United States Department of Agriculture, Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation (SPAR), Health & Youth Strong Communities

What: Bilberry Park Community Wellness Event

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 4 pm

Where: Bilberry Park, 1902 Alabama, Shreveport, LA

Who: TFL, LSU Ag Center, 4H, United States Department of Agriculture, Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation (SPAR), Health & Youth Strong Communities

What: Smoke-Free Night at Josh Lounge

When: Thursday, Nov. 17, 8:30 pm

Where: Josh Lounge, 224 N. Spring Street, Shreveport, LA

There are several free services available for individuals who wish to quit, like Quit with Us, LA (QWULA).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 (www.smokingcessationtrust.org), 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.

TFL is a program of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). For information about the Great American Smokeout and the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.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

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.