This is Public Health

Ecigarette 1

More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey.

Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows.

Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report being released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.

Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th graders and 14 percent of 12th graders.

“I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.

Click here to read the full article from the AP. 


In recognition of today’s 19th annual Kick Butts Day (KBD) (March 19, 2014), Representative Frank Hoffmann, Senator Rick Gallot, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)  and a number of youth from across Louisiana stood up to tobacco companies who continue to target those under age at the Capitol building today.

Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana using tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). Additionally, across our state anyone under the age of 18 can purchase electronic nicotine devices because they are not regulated. In fact, there has been an increase in the sale, advertisement and marketing of the electronic nicotine devices to youth in particular.

Youth are targeted everyday by big tobacco, which these statistics clearly show. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against the big tobacco companies at hundreds of events from coast to coast. Three mock stores were set up to show legislators, media and visitors the extent of tobacco advertisements that our youth are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, a rally and press conference took place, which discussed KBD, e-cigarettes and the Defy program. Rep. Hoffmann and Senator Gallot also discussed upcoming tobacco-related legislation as well as interacted with the Defy youth, learning about their work over the past year.

Click here to read the full story.

istock_000000245060xsmallA new law passed during the legislative session requires all public colleges in Louisiana to develop a smoke-free policy that will be effective as of 2014. The law also bans cigars, pipes, hookah-smoked products, and oral tobacco products on campuses.

Click here to read the full story from KATC-TV.

According to a recent CDC report, the percentage of people who smoke remained essentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, but over time the prevalence of heavy smoking declined significantly.

To read the full story, click here.

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Louisiana’s teen tobacco usage rates remain higher than the national average, with approximately 38.3 percent of high school and 15.6 percent of middle school students in Louisiana use tobacco, according to the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

In light of these startling statistics, youth throughout the state are choosing to Stand UP! against the tobacco industry and its adolescent-targeted direct marketing efforts. Twelve groups across the state were awarded grants from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) to engage and get youth involved with tobacco control and prevention efforts through the Defy the Lies initiative. As part of the grant, Defy teams participated in the point-of-purchase (also known as point-of-sale) project, which focused on tobacco products and advertising in stores where youth are likely to visit on a regular basis, like gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and corner stores in their own communities.

“Reaching out to Louisiana youth, especially during the transition from middle and high school, is crucial,” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director for TFL. “We are continuously working to get local communities involved in TFL’s Defy the Lies initiative, a youth movement that takes down the influence of the tobacco industry, promotes tobacco-free lifestyles, and brings awareness to media and elected officials about what tobacco products are being consumed by and sold to our youth. The time is now to get a better handle on the large number of youth using tobacco products and stand up to the aggressive marketing tactics being used today.”

Click here to read the full story.

Do you ever get tired of going to a bar or event and leaving smelling like an ash tray? If so, check out this great resource from TFL’s Let’s Be Totally Clear site for smoke-free events and venues throughout the state of Louisiana. Its updated frequently, so check back from time to time to see what’s going on in your area!

Click here for smoke-free events.

Click here for smoke-free venues.

The Southern University System is celebrating 1 year since it passed the states first 100% tobacco-free policy. Check out this great Letter to the Editor from the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living & Let’s Be Totally Clear grantee Linda Early Brown from the SUS Ag Center:

One year ago, Southern University became the first university system to pass a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy. The tobacco-free policy, implemented on January 2, is effective on all five campuses. SU’s policy goes above and beyond by making the campus grounds and events completely tobacco-free inside and out, including prohibiting distribution, advertising or gifting of any such products.

The Communities of Color Network, in collaboration with the SU system and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), are excited about this opportunity for the students, faculty and staff statewide to begin working towards a healthier and tobacco-free lifestyle. We look forward to being an integral part in the implementation phase of the tobacco-free policy by continuing to educate staff, faculty members and students on the SU campus on the benefits of being tobacco-free.”

Click here to read the full article from the Louisiana Weekly.

Coping With Anxiety

October 12th, 2012

Panic is an overreaction to a real (or even imagined) problem. It is a natural startle reaction that gets exaggerated and becomes prolonged. People often learn to panic because, in early childhood, panic can get us out of responsibilities. However, living with panic or anxiety every day can create a shutdown of feelings, so you’re in a state of shock. You cannot think clearly, make good responses or decisions.

Click here to read a great article from that features several ways to help recognize and cope with anxiety.


The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), in partnership with the LSUHSC School of Public Health, recently compared teen tobacco rates to the national average in response to results from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that highlighted growing trends in tobacco use among African American youth and youth adults. The startling results showed that in Louisiana, high tobacco prevalence is not unique to African Americans. In fact, Louisiana’s teen tobacco rates remain higher than the national average, regardless of race.

In 2011, approximately 36 percent of African Americans and 39 percent of White high school students in Louisiana were tobacco users. These figures experience little change from 2009; this suggests persistently high consumption patterns for both racial groups. The only discernible difference in the data is between middle and high school students. A statistically significant increase in tobacco utilization is observed between middle and high school students regardless of race or type of tobacco product.

Click here to read the full release, learn more about TFL and see how you can get involved.

Click here to read the data brief with more details on Louisiana youth tobacco usage.

For more information about the DEFY program, click here.

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) recently launched its 2012 state-wide media campaign “_______ Stinks!” The campaign features an interactive concept targeted at creating a call-to-action for all Louisianans to advocate for stronger protections from secondhand smoke in bars and gaming facilities.

TFL also launched an updated website, Twitter (@betotallyclear), and Facebook ( pages to assist supporters of the smoke-free movement across the state to get more involved and share what they think stinks about secondhand smoke. The updated website also boasts a comprehensive list of smoke-free venues, shows and events across the state.

Check out the full release here.