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Town by Town Louisianians Take a Stand Against Secondhand Smoke

Feb. 7, 2019

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL) started 2019 with a major milestone, helping protect one million Louisianans from secondhand smoke. A combination of 18 cities, towns, parishes have come together to make this milestone possible.

This development comes in the wake of Louisiana’s ranking as the least healthy state in America’s Health Rankings Annual Report by the United Health Foundation, which listed tobacco usage as one of Louisiana’s primary health concerns. According to the report, 23% of adult Louisianans smoke, making Louisiana’s smoking percentage is 9% higher than the national average of 14%.

“Secondhand smoke can lead to harmful consequences such as lung cancer (the most fatal type of cancer in Louisiana), premature birth and respiratory infections,” said Tonia Moore, TFL Director.

Comprehensive smoke-free ordinances protect residents from secondhand smoke in all indoor public places, including bars and gaming establishments.

“Despite our best educational efforts, some municipalities are hesitant to adopt smoke-free ordinances because they believe such an ordinance will have a negative financial effect on certain businesses,” said Moore. “However, we have worked with several partners and have not found conclusive evidence that smoke-free environments are directly responsible for negative financial consequences.”

Alexandria was the first city to adopt a comprehensive smoke-free policy in 2012. Major Louisiana cities that followed include New Orleans (2015), Hammond (2015), and Lafayette (2017) and Baton Rouge (2018). The most recent addition includes Haynesville (2019). Additional smoke-free ordinances include: Woodworth (2012), Monroe (2012), West Monroe (2012), Ouachita Parish (2012), Cheneyville (2014), Bogalusa (2016), Glenmora (2017), Lafayette (2017), Colfax (2017), LeCompte (2017), McNary (2018), Abbeville (2018) and Roseland (2018).

“The commitment these local community leaders have shown to the betterment to their quality is inspiring and hopefully they will continue to lead the way for others in supporting a healthy Louisiana, because as a state we have much work left to do,” said Moore.

Learn more about smoke-free initiatives at HealthierAirForAll.org.

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) engages in local and statewide tobacco control policy efforts that focus on tobacco prevention and initiation among youth, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, promote cessation services, and identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities. TFL is guided by best practices in tobacco control, and envisions a healthier Louisiana by reducing the excessive burden of tobacco use on all Louisianans. For more information visit www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a smoke-free Louisiana, visit www.healthierairforall.org. To learn more about quitting tobacco, visit www.quitwithusla.org.

About the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC)
Founded by the Louisiana State Legislature in 2002, the LCRC is a public-private partnership designed to promote education about cancer and conduct important research on the diagnosis, detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer in Louisiana. The LCRC partners with the public at large and four major cancer research institutions in Louisiana: LSU Health, Tulane University, Ochsner Health System, and Xavier University. More information about the LCRC is available at www.louisianacancercenter.org.

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.